The first reviews for John Wick: Chapter 4 are rolling, and critics are here for the longest, most elaborate installment yet in the high-octane action series starring Keanu Reeves as the titular assassin.
Picking up after the events of John Wick: Parabellum, the film sends Reeves on another gun-ballet romp as he methodically shoots and punches his way through another brutal gauntlet of opponents, including the ultimate badass, Donnie Yen. Based on early reviews, Chapter 4 is everything you want a John Wick movie to be and more.
You can see what the critics are saying below:
Mike Ryan, Uproxx:
I do like the John Wick movies, but I’ve never really loved a John Wick movie before. I have entered and exited movie theaters three times in the past to experience the adventures of John Wick and have felt some form of, “yeah that was fun,” every time. There’s something different about John Wick: Chapter 4. It’s still a great time, but director Chad Stahelski is going for something more here. It reminded me a bit of the Man with No Name movies and how those culminate in the all-time classic The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
Alex Godfrey, Empire:
John Wick: Chapter 4 is relentlessly violent. It just does not stop. It bludgeons you like the endless array of assassins bludgeoning its hero. It is so incessantly, expensively savage, it may well be the end of civilisation.
Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly:
John Wick: Chapter 4 … does not let a good concept rest; at 169 minutes, it is by far the longest installment to date, and easily the most relentless. As a moviegoing experience, 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.
Frank Scheck, THR:
The creatives behind the John Wick franchise must lose sleep at night thinking how they can outdo themselves with each new installment. If so, it makes a strong case for insomnia, since “John Wick: Chapter 4” outdoes its formidable predecessors in nearly every respect. Bigger, badder, bolder, longer, and featuring nearly more spectacular set pieces than one movie can comfortably handle, this epic action film practically redefines the stakes.
Pete Hammond, Deadline:
Reeves truly continues to impress, seemingly getting better at this stuff with each franchise (following four Matrix films where he honed his initial skills). His characters are men of few words, but who needs a lot of dialogue anyway? The casting in this one with two giants of the genre Yen and Sanada really takes the series to new levels, and Skarsgard seems to be having a swell time playing a lethal guy we love to hate. Shout-out as well to new cast member Shamier Anderson as The Tracker, a killer with a faithful Belgian Malinois (this series does seem to employ a lot of dogs) that not only is a faithful companion but also pretty fearsome when the situation calls for it.
Tom Jorgensen, IGN:
Chapter 4 firmly cements John Wick as standing shoulder to shoulder with The Matrix’s Neo as part of Keanu Reeves’ nearly unparalleled action hero lineup. The raw-nerved rage of the freshly widowed Wick that wowed in the original movie has progressed into something even more deadly: resolve and focus. Reeves conveys these qualities with practiced restraint, so complete here that the occasional one-liners or subtly raised eyebrow come off as authentic to the character and not beholden to representing any cliches of the genre… sometimes if you bake your cake well enough, you get to eat it, too.
Owen Gleiberman, Variety:
It has a story that, if it were told more briskly, could fit into an 83-minute potboiler that you might have seen in a grindhouse in 1977. Yet the way that Chad Stahelski, the series’ stuntman-turned-director, has staged it, full of hushed, portentous, ritualistic verbal showdowns that are meant to be hypnotic as they build up to each new action scene, “Chapter 4” feels like the first “John Wick” movie that wants to be a Clint Eastwood spaghetti Western. It’s like Sergio Leone crossed with John Woo as seen in Times Square.
Nick Schager, The Daily Beast:
John Wick: Chapter 4 borders on being too much of a good thing—both in the sense that it’s the fourth installment of a series that could have easily ended after its first, and with regards to its gargantuan 169-minute runtime. Fortunately, more turns out to be just about right in this case, with the film offering up such an onslaught of brutal, breakneck action that it’s easy to forgive its less compelling narrative excesses. Designed as a culmination as much as a continuation, it may not be consistent enough to rank as the franchise’s finest, but when it gets going, it cooks with gas.
John Wick: Chapter 4 hits theaters on March 24