REVIEW: John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023)

Keanu Reeves as John Wick and Donnie Yen as Caine in John Wick 4. — PHOTO: Murray Close/Lionsgate.

Directed by Chad Stahelski — Screenplay by Shay Hatten and Michael Finch.

A lot has happened since Chad Stahelski and David Leitch took a Derek Kolstad script with Keanu Reeves attached and successfully revitalized the action genre with an emotional storyline and kick-ass, high-octane action and stunt work. Since then Stahelski’s sequels have consistently upped the ante and topped their own action sequences from chapter to chapter. New locations were revealed, and the world-building just kept on growing eventually introducing everything from a gun sommelier to an Elder who you can only hope to confront in the desert. The films have gone from its gun-fu action and then added in vehicular action and sword fights. With John Wick: Chapter 4, which is the first film in the series not to be written by Derek Kolstad, Chad Stahelski and Keanu Reeves have once again topped themselves with an incredibly accomplished action epic that is both inventive and almost like a greatest hits for the entire franchise. 

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REVIEW: Nobody (2021)

Bob Odenkirk as Hutch Mansell in NOBODY — Photo: Universal Pictures.

Directed by Ilya Naishuller (Hardcore Henry) — Screenplay by Derek Kolstad (John Wick).

At this point, it feels like we’re being inundated with action-thriller films that are trying to ape what made John Wick a huge success and a competent film franchise on its own. While I think these kinds of films can be quite good and entertaining, I also think films like Gunpowder Milkshake or Atomic Blonde have largely missed the mark, so I have become more trepidatious with this action subgenre than I was initially. This is exactly why it was so refreshing to me that I greatly enjoyed Ilya Naishuller’s Nobody, which is yet another action-thriller in the vein of John Wick (also co-written by Derek Kolstad).

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