Vampire Owl: So, this man is still alive.
Vampire Bat: It seems to be so in the movie.
Vampire Owl: I was beginning to wonder if he is immortal like us.
Vampire Bat: He is just like the Hitman, but killing more people without stealth infinitely.
Vampire Owl: He might be using the stealth machine invented by Doctor Frankenstein.
Vampire Bat: He cannot really invent anything of use.
Vampire Owl: You are blaming the great scientist for no reason, once again.
Vampire Bat: Mr Fankenstein has never really been a true doctor of scientist.
Vampire Owl: Even the witches have approved his status.
Vampire Bat: They know nothing about science either.
[Gets a vegetable cutlet and three cups of Munnar tea].
What is the movie about? :: The world’s most reputed assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves) continues to be on the run after a series of events leading to committing murder at The Continental Hotel, violating the basic rule that there would be no blood spilled on its grounds. He has the support of Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne), a former underworld crime boss who has a score to settle with the High Table, the powerful council of crime lords. As a part of this, he murders the Elder (George Georgiou), the only person who is above the High Table, and this leads to further actions against him. Marquis Vincent de Gramont (Bill Skarsgard), a senior member of the High Table takes over the course of actions against John Wick, and decides to finish this forever, with a certain amount of arrogance over his power. As the first step towards this, Winston Scott (Ian McShane) has his privileges taken away from him and his hotel destroyed. At the same time, Charon (Lance Reddick) losses his life, as the Marquis decides to have things working his way for a change, as the man in charge. He is determined to achieve only one thing in his life, something which others of his status failed to achieve, to have John Wick dead and buried for the betterment of all other assassins.
So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: John Wick is someone who is not ready to die, as he is determined to live on with the memories of his dead wife. To end him, Marquis appoints Caine (Donnie Yen), a blind assassin whom he threatens with the life of his daughter and in the name of the obligation that he has for the High Table. Caine agrees despite being an old friend of John to ensure his daughter’s survival. John takes refuge in the Continental hotel at Osaka in Japan where another old friend Shimazu Koji (Hiroyuki Sanada) is the manager, assisted by his daughter Akira (Rina Sawayama). There, a group of highly armoured assassins sent by Marquis attacks them, along with Caine who accompanies them. Almost everyone under Koji’s command is killed, while John barely makes it out alive as a tracker Mr Nobody (Shamier Anderson) who had been trying to collect the bounty on his head decides to keep him alive until the price on his head gets higher. John murders a full wave of assassins until finally getting to the safe house.
And what more is to follow for the former assassin on the run? :: Caine murders an already wounder Koji, while Akira is left to tend to her own wounds. Both John and Winston are in requirement of vengeance, but the end of Marquis and winning their lives back is no easy task. John would require the help of his family which has lost its head and is now led by his adopted sister Katia (Natalia Tena) who is determined to avenge the death of her father. He has to do the job for her and murder the German High Table crime lord who was responsible for that death. But at the same time, he is followed by Caine and Mr Nobody, both determined that they would not let the other person kill John. Both of them hate Marquis and would love to see him dead too, but are left with no option to move on with their respective futures. The Marquis has his assassins everywhere to prevent John from having any of his plans working against him. John Wick seems to be the man whom nobody can get rid of, as he keeps coming back for more, but for how long and against what all forces which have been arranged to fight him seemingly for eternity?
The defence of John Wick 4 :: The movie is a clear improvement from the first two films, and is almost as good as the previous film which had the perfect style and the right length which works for a movie like this one. The sequences of action are once again done very well with artistic beauty supported by charming visuals, and the fight in Japan is indeed a classic one, even though it came too early. The final fight in the streets is a long and memorable one, often getting longer than the longest battle that we can imagine, and the duel in front of the sunrise Sacre-Coeur church building in Paris is a sight to remember. The beauty in the fights and the artistic spilling of blood have their own merits. John Wick is someone whom we will remember for longer after this movie, and as the Hitman who has lasted so long, he defines Keanu Reeves as much as The Matrix and Constantine, the two other classic films that we shall never forget. It is Keanu Reeves who once again keeps the franchise strong. Donnie Yen makes a fine addition while Bill Skarsgard plays the usual rich villain who has so much money and power to control everything in sight. We also have Hiroyuki Sanada and Laurence Fishburne contributing well even though they could have been present for more time on screen. Rina Sawayama as Akira and Natalia Tena as Katia are fine additions who could make in a spin-off or sequel – the latter is someone whom we remember so well for their performance in Game of Thrones series. Ian McShane does the usual in style.
The claws of flaw :: This version of John Wick is too long, whichever way we look at it, as it touches three hour mark with a total run-time of 171 minutes with the interval, trailers, advertisement and national anthem added to the list, even though the censor board seems to have helped in keeping it at three hours and nothing more. With every movie, there has been an increase in run-time. This length is surely a disadvantage as there are moments when this one seems to drag, especially with the dialogues. The action does get repetitive, and we see so many things happening again and again. The movie could have used France’s monuments like Notre Dame Cathedral, Pantheon and Louvre Museum as much as the others, as Paris looks like a dream in this movie. The end of the movie could have also been much bigger, as there have been three films contributing so much towards coming to this grand finish which also seems uncertain if there could be a sequel or spin-off as vengeance continues to be the main thing on the list. John Wick also does not seem to be that stylish with his work anymore, even though we were always expecting him to bring more with the progression in films. There is also the lack of a good female character with presence throughout the movie, as they just come and go with some contributions here and there.
How it finishes :: There are not many Hollywood movies which have made an impact here like John Wick, if we leave the superhero films behind. There are so many kills, and we have people appreciating the action which is very unlike the dumb action in Bollywood movies and some of those overrated mass masala films from South India which earns so much with some nauseating performances, often with the products of nepotism at the helm. The total run-time of this movie might scare some people, but we can stand this as there is artistic beauty and creativity associated with, and not the dumb skill to make hundred enemies fly away as the so-called hero makes a move. The movies like this one are not easy to make as plot never has that much of focus, but this is another movie in the franchise that gets things right, especially with the action, and the choice of actors for the particular roles. There will always be something special about John Wick, even when he would not be of the strength that he used to be, and Keanu Reeves power further strengthens it.
Release date: 24th March 2023
Running time: 171 minutes
Directed by: Chad Stahelski
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgard, Laurence Fishburne, Hiroyuki Sanada, Shamier Anderson, Lance Reddick, Rina Sawayama, Scott Adkins, Ian McShane
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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.