March 20, 2023

GENRE | Keanu Reeves Tracks 'John Wick: Chapter 4' x SXSW 2023

"I'm going to kill them all."
Keanu Reeves Chad Stahelski | John Wick: Chapter 4
SXSW Film & TV Festival
Stuntman-turned-director Chad Stahelski and star Keanu Reeves once again return to the brutally violent and bullet-riddled gun-fu world of John Wick as they continue to expand the hitman's surprisingly complex mythology. John Wick: Chapter 4 is almost three hours of some of the most relentlessly dazzling action-packed sequences ever put to film.

As a result of the high body count of the first three entries, new characters dominate Chapter 4 as Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Shamier Anderson, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Rina Sawayama play new figures from Wick's past and present. Both Laurence Fishburne and Ian McShane reprise their parts as reluctant aids to Wick.

Sawayama, in a small but key role, impresses with a stunning physical presence while Anderson's nameless tracker character sets up an amusing friend-or-foe character dynamic. Yen's martial arts prowess as a charismatic blind assassin grounds the otherwise serious film with some playful gravitas. A French-accented Skarsgård dials up the smarm as the main antagonist and leader of the mysterious, all-powerful High Table organization hunting Wick down.

Keanu Reeves Chad Stahelski | John Wick: Chapter 4
Lionsgate / Cineplex Pictures
There are few legacy elements from previous films as the third sequel charts a new but familiar path of ultraviolence. Chapter 4 is likely the most straightforward of the John Wick chapters from Chapter 3 co-writer Shay Hatten and Michael Finch who call back details of the previous three filmd told through a much grander scale and opulent style out for vengeance.

What's most remarkable about Chapter 4 is just how weary the title character is. He constantly looks tired, worn out, beat up, and just done with his constant suffering. This general feeling of weariness informs the extended fight scenes and pure exhaustion of the action spectacle Reeves and Stahelski put on screen. It's unrelenting and punishing in its excessive entertainment.

John Wick: Chapter 4 screened at the 2023 South by Southwest Film & TV Festival (Austin, Texas) as the special screening as part of the Headliners section.

More | YVArcade / Indiewire / Inverse / Verge

0 reactions:

Post a Comment