Keanu Reeves as John Wick looking annoyed in John Wick 4

REVIEW: ‘John Wick 4’ Is a Wild Ride of Action-Packed Glory

4.5/5 dogs that you should not hurt unless you wanna deal with John Wick

When you think about iconic action stars, Keanu Reeves is probably high up on your list, and he’s gotten that status through countless film franchises and roles. But the John Wick movies celebrate what makes Keanu Reeves the actor we all love to watch take on bad guys and look good while doing it. What is exciting about the franchise as a whole is that it just keeps getting better and better, and John Wick 4 might be the best one yet.

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One of the funnier entries into Wick’s world, the film (written by Shay Hatten and Michael Finch) marries Chad Stahelski’s direction with a layer of humor that has you laughing and ready to fight anyone who comes into your path. The movie brings us back to John (Reeves) who is ex-communicado from everyone he’s come to trust and only has a select group of people he’s willing to turn to.

It makes the connections to some of our favorite characters (like Ian McShane’s Winston and Lance Reddick’s Charon) something that John has to work through. But what the movie really does understand is that we come to these movies to see what John Wick is willing to do to survive and who has wronged him this time around.

And he has found his match in Marquis de Gramont (played menacingly by Bill Skarsgård). Often, the plot of the John Wick movies is tied to whether or not the person he’s searching for knows that John doesn’t care who they are—he’ll end them. And he typically does. But what makes Marquis so frightening is that he doesn’t care and he’s always moving steps ahead of John in terms of evading him. And when John does get close to him, he has other plans to make sure that John Wick is the bug that gets squashed.

I’d watch Donnie Yen, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Keanu Reeves fight for hours

Because John doesn’t have many allies, he is often fighting with people he used to know and work with. In comes Donnie Yen as Caine. They were friends but when the Marquis and his team as for his help taking down John Wick, he does what he has to. Which brings them all to the Continental Hotel Osaka. There, we get to meet Shimazu (Hiroyuki Sanada) who runs the hotel and is an ally to John.

Fans of Sanada know that much like both Yen and Reeves, you don’t want to be on the opposite team as Sanada in a fight. He is, for lack of a better way of describing him, a badass. And so watching all three of them together on screen? A gift. And one of the reasons why John Wick 4 is the best yet.

Not only are the fight sequences incredible but it is clear that Stahelski and company are aware of what fans want to see. Yes, we want to see Laurence Fishburne’s Bowery King and John Wick interacting because we’re all still obsessed with The Matrix. Yes, we want that Donnie Yen fight sequence where he just takes out ten men on his own with ease because he’s Donnie Yen. It’s what we came here for and John Wick 4 delivers!

One of the funniest Keanu movies to date

While most of us love Keanu Reeves for his action roles, others love his comedic timing in things like Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Always Be My Maybe. But John Wick 4 really does marry the two in a way that was only briefly played with in the other movies. There is a moment where John Wick just keeps falling for a very long time or there is a sequence in a museum with Marquis waiting to talk with Winston that has McShane just walking for a really long time.

And it was those moments that really just had the audience all laughing together and realizing that these movies are not only action-packed but fun to watch together. If anything, John Wick 4 definitely proves itself to be the action movie to see in theaters. Because Keanu Reeves continues to be one of the last remaining Hollywood “movie stars” out there that can still (and should still) get audiences in seats.

And it proves yet again that you should not mess with dogs. The Tracker (Shamir Anderson) has his dog who he very clearly loves with him and knowing that John Wick probably wants to hang out with that dog and play with it throughout the movie really does work because we know that John Wick will kill in the honor of dogs. That’s how this all started. Which brings us to the main point of all this: This really might be the best one yet.

John Wick at his finest

The ease in which Keanu Reeves can convey all his thoughts in one moment with just a “Yeah” is utilized to its fullest within John Wick 4. And proves that no one can do it quite like Keanu can. Reeves has become a staple of the action genre because he’s that good. And John Wick 4 is a thrilling example of what happens when you let someone be good at what they do and roll with it.

Not every movie could feature a nearly two minute shot of Ian McShane just walking in a museum and make it work. Not all action movies can have an over the head single shot sequence that rivals some of the best action movies sequences to date. But John Wick 4 has all this and more.

Getting to watch Donnie Yen and Keanu Reeves in action together truly feels like a gift to the genre and fans who have loved their work for decades. And this is just one of those movies where the credits roll and you’re suddenly itching to go right back into the theater and watch it again and again.

John Wick 4 hits theaters on March 24th and is truly and honestly one of the best times you’ll have in a movie theater.

(Featured image: Lionsgate)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.