Who could have imagined a murdered dog would cause so much mayhem and four brilliant movies? John Wick: Chapter 4 is a 2023 American neo-noir action thriller film directed by Chad Stahelski. It stars Keanu Reeves, as the protagonist John Wick who is a one-man demolition crew seeking revenge on the High Table and those who left him for dead at the end of John Wick 3 – Parabellum.

In New York City, John Wick prepares to exact revenge against the High Table while hiding underground with the Bowery King. He travels to Morocco and kills the Elder, the “one who sits above the Table“. In response, the Marquis Vincent de Gramont (played by Bill Skarsgård), a senior member of the High Table, summons New York Continental hotel manager Winston and his concierge, Charon.

De Gramont explains to Winston that the High Table has given him unlimited resources to find and kill John Wick. He chastises Winston for his failure to assassinate John. As punishment, De Gramont strips Winston of his duties as manager, declares him “excommunicado“, destroys the Continental, and executes Charon (sadly Lance Reddick who played the character died in real life too). De Gramont then travels to Paris and enlists Caine – a blind, retired High Table assassin – to kill his old friend John, threatening to murder Caine’s daughter otherwise.

John takes refuge at the Osaka Continental, run by his friend Shimazu Koji (played by Hiroyuki Sanada who is Hollywood’s go-to guy for basically any Japanese character who is not good enough to be the main hero but good enough to help out the white hero). De Gramont’s right-hand man Chidi, backed by High Table assassins and Caine, arrives to investigate the hotel. Shimazu’s daughter Akira, the hotel’s concierge, evacuates the hotel just before the High Table “deconsecrates” it, igniting a melee. John fights through waves of armored assassins, and a showdown with Caine is interrupted by a bounty hunter who calls himself “Mr. Nobody“. He aids in John’s escape after determining the contract money for killing John to be insufficient. Caine allows a wounded Akira to flee after killing her father. The action sequence at Osaka Continental is one of the best of the John Wick series.

John returns to New York and meets with a vengeful Winston at Charon’s gravesite. Winston advises John to invoke an old High Table tradition and challenge De Gramont to a duel. Winning will free him of all obligations to the High Table. The caveat is that John can only request a duel on behalf of a crime family. He travels to the Berlin headquarters of Ruska Roma, with whom he had severed ties, to request readmission. His adoptive sister Katia (Natalia Tena who played Tonks in the Harry Potter series) with slimy black hair that would Severus Snape to shame, allows John to rejoin in exchange for killing Killa, a High Table senior who murdered her father. Although Killa sets up an ambush at his nightclub, John still manages to kill him (in an unbelievably brutal fight) and regain his status within Ruska Roma. Killa is played by Scott Adkins of Undisputed fame and apparently is wearing a fat suit or some of the blubber left from Brendan Fraser’s costume from The Whale.

Winston relays John’s formal challenge to De Gramont. He requests the New York Continental be rebuilt, with him reinstated as manager, should John win. In Paris, John and De Gramont decide the parameters of their duel in a meeting moderated by the Harbinger, the Table’s emissary. De Gramont nominates a reluctant Caine to fight in his place. The duel is to take place with dueling pistols on the following sunrise at Sacré-Cœur; John and Winston will be executed should either fail to appear on time. The Bowery King arrives in Paris to give John a weapon and a new ballistic suit.

De Gramont intends to prevent John from arriving at the duel in time by placing a $26 million bounty on him. John fights off hordes of assassins on his way to Sacré-Cœur, including Mr. Nobody, who negotiates a bounty increase to $40 million. During their confrontation, John prevents Chidi from killing Mr. Nobody’s dog; a stunned Mr. Nobody decides to abandon his pursuit of John, and subsequently kills Chidi. After Caine and Mr. Nobody assist John in traversing a long staircase that leads to Sacré-Cœur, they reach the summit just in time for the duel. Each inflicts serious wounds on the other through two rounds of dueling. The third round comes to a halt when Caine mortally wounds John. Demanding the right to administer the coup de grace, De Gramont eagerly swaps places with Caine. However, John had not fired his third bullet, with which he shoots and kills an unsuspecting De Gramont.

The Harbinger grants Caine and John their freedom from the High Table, and Winston is reinstated. After collapsing on the staircase, John reflects upon his life and marriage before peacefully succumbing to his injuries. Sometime later, Winston and the Bowery King bid farewell to John at a gravesite where he is buried next to his late wife, Helen. In a post-credits scene, Caine returns to Paris to reunite with his daughter but is approached by the vengeful Akira. And there ends the tale of John Wick who murdered more than a five hundred people across 4 movies, to claim vengeance over his dead dog. Or does it? John Wick is too profitable a franchise to let go of, now that revenge has been taken. I have a strong feeling it will be one of those “faked deaths” that allows movie producers to conclude one movie but also revive characters to profit off another movie. Though talks of spin-offs are in play including a TV series about the Continentals and a movie called “Ballerina” releasing in 2024 about, you guessed it, a ballerina assassin. Well, after the success of John Wick, the studios had to go for a “woke” female driven version as always with anything these days in Hollywood. But let’s see if it achieves the success of John Wick. Anyways that’s my two cents so let’s discuss more about John Wick: Chapter 4.

Donnie Yen plays a blind assassin named Caine who fights better than most of the assassins with eyes. Scott Adkins was wasted in the fat suit cameo – one of the coolest martial arts performers is reduced to a caricature. Thankfully the ambush at the Berlin night club is swift and brutal. There isn’t much going on for either the Bowery King or Winston except for a few sentences here and there. Bill Skarsgård like all of John Wick’s antagonists isn’t as brutal or fearsome as the sidekicks but he plays his part well. The movie’s chief selling points are its action sequences which are brilliant and Keanu Reeves’s committed performance.


The best John Wick movie yet and one of the best neo-noir action movies out there – a movie made for the big screen. Don’t wait for the streaming release.


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