|John Wick: Chapter 4|
|Directed by||Chad Stahelski|
by Derek Kolstad
|Edited by||Nathan Orloff|
|Box office||$349.8 million|
John Wick: Chapter 4 is a 2023 American neo-noir action thriller film directed by Chad Stahelski and written by Shay Hatten and Michael Finch. The sequel to John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019) and the fourth installment in the John Wick franchise, it stars Keanu Reeves as the title character, alongside Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Laurence Fishburne, Hiroyuki Sanada, Shamier Anderson, Lance Reddick, Rina Sawayama, Scott Adkins, Clancy Brown, and Ian McShane. In the film, John Wick sets out to get revenge on the High Table and those who left him for dead.
Development for a fourth John Wick film was confirmed prior to the release of its predecessor; it was formally announced by Lionsgate in May 2019. It is the first film in the franchise not to be written by franchise creator Derek Kolstad, with Hatten hired in May 2020, followed by Finch in March 2021. Principal photography took place from June to October 2021, with filming locations including France, Germany, New York City, and Japan.
Originally set for release on May 21, 2021, John Wick: Chapter 4 faced delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film had its premiere at the Odeon Luxe Leicester Square in London on March 6, 2023, and was released in the United States on March 24, by Lionsgate. It received positive reviews from critics and has grossed close to $350 million worldwide, becoming the highest grossing film in the franchise.
In New York City, John Wick prepares to exact revenge against the High Table while hiding underground with the Bowery King. He travels to Morocco and kills the Elder, the "one who sits above the Table". In response, the Marquis Vincent de Gramont, a member of the High Table, summons New York Continental hotel manager Winston and his concierge, Charon.
De Gramont explains that the High Table has given him unlimited resources to find and kill John Wick. He chastises Winston for his failure to assassinate John.[a] As punishment, De Gramont strips Winston of his duties as manager, declares him "excommunicado", destroys the Continental, and executes Charon. De Gramont then travels to Paris and enlists Caine – a blind, retired High Table assassin – to kill his old friend John, threatening to murder Caine's daughter otherwise.
John takes refuge at the Osaka Continental, run by his friend Shimazu Koji. De Gramont's lieutenant Chidi, backed by High Table assassins and Caine, arrives to investigate the hotel. Shimazu's daughter Akira, the hotel's concierge, evacuates the hotel just before the High Table "deconsecrates" it, igniting a melee. John fights through waves of armored assassins, and a showdown with Caine is interrupted by a bounty hunter who calls himself "Mr. Nobody". He aids in John's escape after determining the contract money for killing John to be insufficient. Caine allows a wounded Akira to flee after reluctantly killing her father.
John returns to New York and meets with a vengeful Winston at Charon's gravesite. Winston advises John to invoke an old High Table tradition to challenge De Gramont to a duel. Winning would free John of all obligations to the High Table, but he can only request a duel on behalf of a crime family. He travels to the Berlin headquarters of the Ruska Roma crime syndicate, with whom he had severed ties[a], to request readmission. His adoptive sister Katia agrees to his request in exchange for John killing Killa, a High Table member who murdered her father. Although Killa sets up an ambush at his nightclub, John still manages to kill him and regain his status.
Winston relays John's formal challenge to De Gramont. He requests the New York Continental be rebuilt, with him reinstated as manager, should John win. In Paris, John and De Gramont decide the parameters of their duel - dueling pistols on the following sunrise at Sacré-Cœur - in a meeting moderated by the Harbinger, the Table's emissary. De Gramont nominates a reluctant Caine to fight in his place; John and Winston will be executed should either fail to appear on time. The Bowery King arrives in Paris to give John a pistol and a new ballistic suit.
De Gramont intends to prevent John from arriving at the duel in time by placing a $26 million bounty on him. John fights off hordes of assassins on his way to Sacré-Cœur, including Mr. Nobody, who negotiates a bounty increase to $40 million. During their confrontation, John prevents Chidi from killing Mr. Nobody's beloved dog; a stunned Mr. Nobody decides to abandon his pursuit of John. After Caine and Mr. Nobody assist John in fighting off several assassins—including Chidi, whom Mr. Nobody kills—at a long staircase that leads to Sacré-Cœur, they reach the summit just in time for the duel. John and Caine inflict serious wounds on each other through two rounds of dueling. The third round comes to a halt when Caine severely wounds John. Demanding the right to administer the coup de grâce, De Gramont eagerly swaps places with Caine. However, John, who had not yet fired his third bullet, shoots and kills an unsuspecting De Gramont.
The Harbinger grants Caine and John their freedom from the High Table, and Winston is reinstated. After collapsing on the staircase, John reflects upon his life and marriage before succumbing to his injuries. Some time later, Winston and the Bowery King bid farewell to John at his tombstone, located next to his late wife Helen's.[b]
In a post-credits scene, Caine returns to Paris to reunite with his daughter but is approached by the vengeful Akira, who brandishes a weapon.
Natalia Tena portrays Katia, John Wick's adoptive sister; and Marko Zaror portrays Chidi, the right-hand man of the Marquis de Gramont. George Georgiou appears as the Elder, "the one who sits above the Table"; Georgiou portrays a different character than the one played by Saïd Taghmaoui in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019). Bridget Moynahan appears as John's late wife, Helen. Sven Marquardt, an infamous German bouncer, appears as a Ruska Roma member named Klaus. Retired sumo wrestler Yoshinori Tashiro made an appearance as the Osaka Continental gatekeeper.
On May 20, 2019, Lionsgate announced John Wick: Chapter 4 via their opt-in "John Wick" text update service, writing, "You have served. You will be of service. John Wick: Chapter 4 is coming – May 21, 2021". In early August 2020, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer stated during an earnings call, "We're also busy preparing scripts for the next two installments of our John Wick action franchise, with John Wick 4 slated to hit theaters Memorial Day weekend 2022. We hope to shoot both John Wick 4 and 5 back to back when Keanu becomes available early next year."
Before the third film's release, director Chad Stahelski confirmed on a Reddit "AMA" thread that there had been discussion for another film, and that he would be involved with the project should the third film be successful. Despite this announcement back then, it was not confirmed if star Keanu Reeves would return for a new installment. However, he told GQ that he would carry on the role as long as the audience wanted it, saying, "As far as my legs can take me, as far as the audience wants to go."
Stahelski later teased the fourth film on an interview with IndieWire by saying Wick would not end the fourth film in "a happy ending", saying, "John may survive all this shit but at the end of it, there's no happy ending. He's got nowhere to go. Honestly, I challenge you right now, here's a question to you: How do you fucking want me to end it? Do you think he's going to ride off into the fucking sunset? He's killed 300 fucking people and he's just going to [walk away], everything's okay? He's just going to fall in love with a love interest? If you're this fucking guy, if this guy really exist[ed], how is this guy's day going to end? He's fucked for the rest of his life. It's just a matter of time." Additionally, Stahelski teased Winston's fate in the fourth film, saying, "He meant to shoot him. Did he mean to kill him? That's open for interpretation, you can take it one of two ways, and that's kind of where we pick up some of the unanswered questions in John Wick 4." The studio opted to move on from series creator Derek Kolstad and instead hired Shay Hatten to write the script in May 2020. In February, Stahelski brought Ricky Staub and Dan Walser on board to write the film after being impressed with their film Concrete Cowboy. In March 2021, screenwriting duties were passed onto Predators screenwriter Michael Finch.
The writing of the film was placed in the hands of Shay Hatten and Michael Finch. In an interview with Finch by Looper magazine, Finch stated that there were several previous films which influenced his writing stating: "A lot of this begins with Chad being inspired by other films, other genres of film, be it "Once Upon a Time in the West," "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," or be it "Bullitt" or "Dirty Harry" or a "Zatoichi" film." The role played by the blind assassin portrayed by Donnie Yen references the blind swordsman in the Japanese film series centered on the character of Zatoichi.
When the fourth film was announced, Reeves reported to have begun his training course for John Wick 4 and The Matrix Resurrections. In May 2021, it was announced that Rina Sawayama would make her feature film debut in John Wick Chapter 4. She was selected due to the role requiring someone who can do choreography, and Stahelski had seen her music videos for "XS" and "Bad Friend" that feature dance and fighting, respectively. The following month, Laurence Fishburne, Hiroyuki Sanada, Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Shamier Anderson, and Scott Adkins were cast in the film. Sanada was initially courted to portray Zero in Chapter 3, but dropped out in favor of appearing in Avengers: Endgame. In July 2021, Lance Reddick was confirmed to be reprising his role as Charon, and Ian McShane was confirmed to be reprising his role as Winston. Clancy Brown joined the cast that August.
Most of the weapons used in the film were chosen from stock and custom weapon design firms and were already in existence before filming. De Gramont nominates a reluctant Caine to fight in his place in a duel using enhanced 20th century Thompson/Center Contenders in the sunrise scene at Sacré-Cœur. The Bowery King when he arrives in Paris hands John a custom 21-round Pit Viper pistol manufactured by TTI.
Near the start of the film, the character of Caine is shown handling an opulent gold watch from the jeweler Carl F. Bucherer with an image portrait of his daughter inside of the gold case closure lid.
Principal photography began on June 28, 2021, on a $100 million budget, and took place in France, Germany, New York City, and Japan. Several French crew, including the Location Manager, described filming in Paris as "hell"; due to a two-week delay filming in Germany, Stahelski had less time to scout Paris and would improvise and change locations last minute. Filming took place at Luxembourg Gardens and the Church of St. Eustache. The introductory scene was filmed in a Parisian "sunken cathedral", "La Défense Cathedral". The chase-shootout around the Arc de Triomphe was finished at a disused airport near Berlin.
Filming concluded on October 27.
Stahelski described an early cut of John Wick: Chapter 4 as "screwed" because the expanded worldbuilding of its title character and the introduction of new characters took 225 minutes of screen time. Editor Nathan Orloff performed more substantial cuts, reducing the film to 169 minutes.
Tyler Bates and Joel J. Richard return to compose the score for the film, after doing so for the previous three films. The soundtrack album was released by Lakeshore Records on March 24, 2023.
The movie features EDM tracks from widely-known artists in the genre, like Gesaffelstein and Justice. As well as Le Castle Vania |https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Castle_Vania%7C whose work largely consisted of remixes of his work from John Wick and John Wick 2. Most of the artists featured in the soundtrack are French, and therefore fit with the majority of the third act of the movie taking place in Paris.
John Wick: Chapter 4 was released on March 24, 2023. Lionsgate officially announced the film during Parabellum's opening week, with a scheduled release date of May 21, 2021. Previously, on May 1, 2020, IndieWire revealed that the fourth film had been delayed to a May 2022 release date following the COVID-19 pandemic and Reeves's commitments to The Matrix Resurrections, which was slated to be released on the same original date window with Wick 4. "The Matrix 4 was only four weeks in when this all happened [production of The Matrix 4 halted]," Stahelski said, "So, Keanu's gotta go finish his commitment up on The Matrix, which is a big deal and which I think will probably take him until the end of the year. Then we have to go into our prep mode and then we'll start. So release dates ... who knows right now."
The film's release date was delayed to May 27, 2022, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and then further to March 24, 2023, in part to avoid opening against Top Gun: Maverick. The film had its premiere at the Odeon Luxe Leicester Square in London on March 6, 2023. It also had a special screening at the South by Southwest on March 13, 2023. In India, the film was dubbed and released in Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu. It was released in South Korea on April 12, 2023.
John Wick: Chapter 4 is expected to be released on Amazon Prime Video on May 23, 2023.
As of April 16, 2023[update], John Wick: Chapter 4 has grossed $160.2 million in the United States and Canada, and $189.6 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $349.8 million.
In the United States and Canada, John Wick: Chapter 4 was projected to gross $65–70 million from 3,855 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $29.4 million on its first day, including $8.9 million from Thursday night previews, both the best of the series, and both the best of any R-rated film released since March 2020. It went on to debut to $73.8 million, topping the box office and marking the best opening weekend of the franchise. It was also the best opening weekend for Lionsgate and for any R-rated film since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, with the latter record surpassing Halloween Kills. This also marked the year's second-highest opening weekend at the time of its release, after Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. The film made $28.3 million in its sophomore weekend (a drop of 61.6%), finishing second behind newcomer Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. In its third weekend the film made $14.6 million, again finishing second, this time behind The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
Outside of the US and Canada, the film grossed $64 million from 71 markets in its opening weekend. In its second weekend John Wick: Chapter 4 made $35 million from 75 markets. The film grossed $21.5 million in its third weekend. As of April 9, 2023, the highest grossing territories were the United Kingdom ($15.6 million), Germany ($14.1 million), CIS ($11.2 million) and Mexico and Australia ($11 million each).
On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 94% of 332 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 8.2/10. The website's consensus reads: "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." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 78 out of 100, based on 58 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, the best of the series, while those polled by PostTrak gave it a 93% positive score, with 82% saying they would definitely recommend it.
Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a positive review, calling it "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." Tom Jorgensen of IGN gave the film a 10/10 score, describing it as a "modern epic" and "bursting at the seams with creative, thrillingly staged action choreography and cinematography" while giving particular praise to the performances of Reeves, Yen and Skarsgård.
Chicago Sun-Times's Richard Roeper gave the film three out of four stars, writing "Somewhere inside the utterly unnecessary, bloated running time for John Wick IV, there's a brilliant, stripped-down, 100-minute classic of a drive-in action film, where the admittedly breathtaking action sequences don't grind on for so long that they actually become borderline tedious." Richard Brody of The New Yorker was ambivalent on much of the film, but found that the "giddily intense, swoony, swashbuckling, and sensational" ending makes the rest of the film "worth sitting through".
Charles Bramesco of The Guardian gave the film two out of five stars, writing: "Those who appreciated the original for its brutal, sinewy agility have another thing coming: a lumbering, stultifying gargantua of a film willing to kill everything except its darlings." Reviewing the film for Consequence, Liz Miller gave the film a C+ and said: "Watching John Wick: Chapter 4 sometimes felt like watching an above-average assembly cut. At an unwieldy two hours and 49 minutes, your eye will immediately be drawn to what cuts through the noise — and there are plenty of these moments. But 'moments' does not a well-told 'movie' make."
At the 2023 MTV Movie & TV Awards, John Wick: Chapter 4 received a nomination for Best Fight for the scene in which Wick fights numerous people.
In August 2020, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer confirmed that a fifth film was being developed alongside John Wick: Chapter 4. While it was initially intended to be shot back-to-back with the fourth installment, in March 2021 Lionsgate opted to delay production and solely move forward with Chapter 4. In 2019, Reeves stated that he would continue making sequels, as long as the films were successful. Stahelski later said there are no plans for an immediate sequel, stating, "In our minds, Keanu and I are done for the moment. We're going to give John Wick a rest. I'm sure the studio has a plan. If everyone loves it and it goes kooky, then we'll take a quiet minute."
A potential fifth film was no longer on the table by the time the film was released, in part due to Wick's death in Chapter 4. Stahelski said that the reason he and Reeves abandoned plans for a sequel was his skepticism over his ability to "deliver two uniquely special experiences". Lionsgate initially demurred at the duo's plan to retire Reeves' character, but eventually acquiesced. Despite Stahelski and Reeves' insistence on the fate of Wick, Lionsgate president Joe Drake later hinted at the possibility of a fifth film due to Chapter 4's unforeseen level of commercial success, while Stahelski stated he was open to a sequel.
Reeves and McShane will reprise their respective roles as Wick and Winston in the upcoming film Ballerina, a spin-off to the John Wick films set between the events of Chapter 3 and Chapter 4. Also in development is a spin-off television series entitled The Continental: From the World of John Wick, which will feature younger versions of several John Wick characters. Yen has expressed interest in a spin-off centered on Caine.
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