Among the pleasure of “John Wick: Chapter 4” is in watching movie references play out, as director Chad Stahelski pays homage to some very surprising titles among the many best of all time. A minimum of one of many nods is sort of cheerfully shameless: after a quick scene the place the Bowery King hypes up an in-training John, he extinguishes a lit match by blowing it out, at which level there is a smash minimize to the rising solar someplace outdoors Casablanca, a riff on one of many best match cuts of all time, from David Lean’s “Lawrence of Arabia”.
However there are different welcome homages right here. (A few of these could also be unintentional, however contemplating that “John Wick: Chapter 2” opens with an on-screen reference to Buster Keaton, let’s presume in any other case.) Within the closing hour, as John arrives in Paris for his duel, he is attacked on all sides because the Marquis raises the bounty on his life within the hopes of avoiding the duel fully. And so, with a sultry French DJ on the high of the Eiffel Tower exhorting all kinds of assassins to get off their duffs and take John down (itself a nod to Walter Hill’s “The Warriors”), our antihero drives by means of the crowded visitors across the Arc de Triomphe, evading each common drivers and people who want to do him hurt. What begins as a little bit of “Let me high this”-style power from Reeves and Stahelski, impressed maybe by the scene in “Mission: Inconceivable – Fallout” that includes Ethan Hunt driving by means of downtown Paris on a bike, goes deeper. When John is inevitably stopped from utilizing a car and has to get on his personal ft, he not solely will get into varied bone-crunching fights with baddies, however avoids vehicles zooming across the busy highway, calling to thoughts the underrated comedy “Bowfinger” and a scene by which its co-star Eddie Murphy has to run throughout a freeway stuffed with very fast-moving visitors. This time, not like in “Bowfinger,” our bodies do fall.
Later in Paris, John will get his palms on an ultra-powerful gun with explosive bullets. That John Wick lays waste to a bunch of dangerous guys in the course of a abandoned Parisian townhouse shouldn’t come as a shock. The way in which Stahelski and cinematographer Dan Laustsen shoot and body the motion is the place the scene hits a excessive; calling to thoughts a birds’-eye view shot in Steven Spielberg’s “Minority Report,” the digicam strikes slowly and unwaveringly from room to room as we watch from overhead as John clears the home as a lot and as quick as doable. It is actually jaw-dropping to behold.
The key weapon of “John Wick: Chapter 4” is that John is not the one attraction. There are a selection of different spectacular figures, from Anderson’s flippant bounty hunter to Hiroyuki Sanada because the fiercely decided supervisor of the Osaka Continental. However better of all is — unsurprisingly — martial arts grasp Donnie Yen. The script, by Shay Hatten and Michael Finch, does a stable job of constructing John Wick’s destiny a real dilemma by means of the personage of Caine. This blind man is clearly pretty much as good at his job as John is and arguably has extra to reside for, as his musically inclined grown daughter is alive and nicely in Paris. Other than the non-public touches, what we see of Caine is that he is an immensely gifted fighter. Simply as Stahelski lets the varied battle scenes play out between Reeves and an infinite variety of baddies, so too is the case with Yen and the lads with whom he does battle. It is to the movie’s credit score that we do not wait lengthy for John and Caine to face off; earlier than John escapes the internal workings of the Osaka Continental within the first third, he is acquired to do battle with Caine. The following battle is as thrilling as something within the closing hour, with a telling second the place John chooses to not take a kill shot in opposition to Caine out of respect.
It is no shock that the duel on the finish of the movie, meant to be as old school as doable, has the Marquis utilizing Caine as his proxy. (Right here, too, there’s a seemingly temporary nod to a traditional, Stanley Kubrick’s “Barry Lyndon.”) However by that climactic second, it is simply as crucial that Caine get out alive as John does, if no more so. As vicious as Caine is — to make sure his daughter’s security, he is keen to kill nearly anybody, together with Sanada’s character in a suitably painful and heart-rending sequence — the ultimate duel is one by which it will be preferrred if the one one who died was the Marquis, whose machinations made it occur.