In spite of the action genre’s often formulaic nature, director Chad Stahelski crafts a perfect and genuine finale to the John Wick tetralogy that never detracts in quality throughout its runtime. In fact, it gets better with every movie. John Wick: Chapter 4 follows the titular character (Keanu Reeves) in a last ditch attempt at freedom from the High Table, the highest seat of command in the criminal underworld.
The film continues Wick’s bloody crusade for freedom from the High Table’s clutches after being forced into the hitman business. This time, he must work within the rules of the table in order to get back to his normal life. From all the beautiful locations that this film takes place in, showing the true grip of the Table around the planet, it shows the brilliance of the memorable world-building. It’s only made better by Stahelski’s insertion of Wick throughout these many places. Reeves also excels in bringing to life what is, on paper, an emotionless slate of a character, while also being cool enough to do his own action scenes.
Along with Reeves, the returning cast of Ian McShane as Winston, Laurence Fishburne as the Bowery King, and Lance Reddick as Charon are as exceptional and memorable as always. However, new cast members hold their own against the veterans of the franchise brilliantly. Caine (Donnie Yen) is a blind character who brings a unique style of action to the John Wick movies as well as give Wick more development through a hinted-at past between the two. Shamier Anderson’s character, Nobody, is a very interesting and relatable character because of his importance to the story despite being one of the only characters to not have any hidden past with Wick. He also continues the signature motif of dogs in the franchise.
One of the most surprising characters was Bill Skarsgård’s character, the Marquis Vincent de Garmont. Being the main antagonist of the final movie, he needed to bring weight to the opposing side. It only makes sense that Wick faces someone who is basically a member of the High Table. The table is a mysterious element of the franchise that always surprises the viewer with its demonstrations of control and power, and Skarsgård does not disappoint in his performance.
Despite many people’s fears about the franchise’s action getting stale and boring over the course of four movies, Chapter 4 never fails to create enjoyable moments. The movie creates fresh and original action by incorporating different styles of fighting and violence through the weapons, martial art styles, and character circumstances. Wick himself has become a bit of an icon due to how much his character not only works to appeal to an action audience, but also audiences who enjoy heartfelt stories about loss. John Wick: Chapter 4 is a brilliant representative of its genre and is up there with many of the greats.