‘John Wick: Chapter 4’ rave reviews: It stands above ‘the past decade’s worth of action films’

On March 24, Lionsgate released “John Wick: Chapter 4,” the fourth installment of the Keanu Reeves-led franchise. John Wick uncovers a path to defeating The High Table. But before he can earn his freedom, Wick must face off against a new enemy with powerful alliances across the globe and forces that turn old friends into foes.

With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 93%, critics are raving, “‘John Wick: Chapter 4’ piles on more of everything — and suggests that when it comes to a well-dressed Keanu Reeves dispatching his enemies in lethally balletic style, there can never be too much.”

In addition to Reeves, the returning cast includes Laurence Fishburne as underworld boss the Bowery King, Lance Reddick as Continental Hotel concierge Charon, and Ian McShane as Winston Scott, the manager of the Continental Hotel who betrayed John at the end of “Chapter 3.” New cast members include Bill Skarsgård as the Marquis de Gramont, a member of the High Table, the all-powerful criminal council that Wick is waging war against; martial arts movie icons Donnie Yen, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Scott Adkins as Wick’s assorted frenemies; pop star Rina Sawayama in her film debut as an assassin named Akira; Shamier Anderson (“Wynonna Earp”) as the Tracker; and Clancy Brown as the Harbinger. 

SEE Keanu Reeves is back in action in the ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’ trailer [Watch]

Read our full review round-up below.

Tom Jorgensen of IGN Movies states, “It is the longest John Wick movie. It is the most John Wick movie. And it is the best John Wick movie.” Skarsgård is especially praised as being the first real supervillain of the Wick-verse. Jorgensen adds, “John Wick: Chapter 4 stands above its predecessors – and the past decade’s worth of action films as a whole – as a modern epic, something Keanu Reeves and Chad Stahelski have been driving at since 2014.”

Kim Taylor-Foster of Total Film writes, “Wince-inducing thrills, spills, kills… Chapter 4 duly delivers. The action picks up more or less right after the close of the last film, just as all the sequels do, with Wick heading back out to the desert to pay another visit to The Elder (formerly Said Taghmaoui, now George Georgiou). When Wick’s actions compound his status as a wanted (dead) man, the bounty on his head climbs. Again. And again. John looks for a way to kill the contract that’s been put out on his life and finally cast off the rules of shady underworld organization the High Table. A globetrotting fight for survival with increasing stakes offers him the glimmer of a chance to break free. But the odds are not in his favour.” 

SEE Box office preview: ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’ should give movie theaters another much-needed bump 

Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly praises the franchise as a whole before adding, “It is also patently ridiculous and mostly very fun: the platonic ideal of a globe-hopping meatbag action thriller taken to its gloriously illogical extreme.” The cast is praised with Sawayama being described as a scene stealer. Greenblatt concludes, “Like James Bond, John Wick may eventually transcend the idea of just one man. But it wouldn’t be quite the same without [Reeves].”

Jacob Hall of Slashfilm says, “You’ve got to love a movie star who suffers for our sins. And while Tom Cruise snags the biggest headlines for his death-defying work in the ‘Mission: Impossible’ movies, it’s hard to watch ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’ and not admire the anguish of Keanu Reeves.” A fair point in addition to the fact that Reeves is in top form once more. Hall adds, “‘Chapter 4’ goes for broke — John Wick must suffer, and we are going to thrill in his suffering…As someone who has been in the tank for these movies for nearly a decade now, the fourth film is everything I wanted out of these movies.”

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