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Chad Stahelski
Keanu Reeves, Donnie Yen, Laurence Fishburne
Writing Credits:
Shay Hatten, Michael Finch

John Wick is on the run after killing a member of the international assassin's guild.

Box Office:
$100 million.
Opening Weekend
$73,817,950 on 3855 screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English Dolby Atmos
Spanish Dolby 5.1
English Descriptive Audio
French Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 169 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 6/13/2023

• “Through Wick and Thin” Featurette
• “Train Like a Killer” Featurette
• “Making a Killing” Featurette
• “Psychology of a Killer” Featurette
• “Blind Leading the Fight” Featurette
• “Suit Up, Shoot Up” Featurette
• “Packing a Punch” Featurette
• “One Killer Shot” Featurette
• “Killing at the Speed of Traffic” Featurette
• “A Shot in the Dark” Featurette
• “In Honor of the Dead” Featurette
• Trailers
Continental Sneak Peek


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BDT220P Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


John Wick: Chapter 4 [Blu-Ray] (2023)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 25, 2023)

Audiences first met a new super-assassin character via 2014’s John Wick. Nearly a decade later, the franchise continues to reach audiences via 2023’s John Wick: Chapter 4.

John Wick (Keanu Reeves) attempted to retire from his life as a hired killer, but various elements kept him involved - and on the run. This occurs due to transgressions of rules set by “The High Table”, an organization that dictates standards for underworld sorts.

With an ever-increasing body count behind him, John continues to seek a way to pay his debt and get off the High Table’s worldwide hit list. John pursues his own agenda as he tries to take down everyone he needs to finally eliminate the threat to his own life and those of his friends/colleagues.

If nothing else, the Wick franchise deserves credit due to its unusual path at the box office. Four films in and each movie made more than its predecessors.

Worldwide the Wicks went from $86 million for the 2014 debut to $174 million for Chapter 2 to $328 million for Chapter 3. Chapter 4 took in $427 million overall, a figure that might offer the upper reaches of the franchise’s possibilities, but who knows?

Presumably we’ll find out via a Chapter 5 at some point, though the series will offer spinoffs first. Fall 2023 will bring a prequel series called The Continental and 2024 will deliver Ballerina, an Ana de Armas-starring feature set between Wick films three and four.

Based on how Chapter Four concludes, I admit some curiosity to see where the eponymous franchise goes. I can’t claim the action of the movie itself makes me intrigued, though, as this flick delivers a pretty strong “all style, no substance” experience.

Which I expect Wick fans will dispute. I guess the franchise’s stalwarts take meaning from the lead character and his seemingly impossible quest.

However, I don’t, as I find the series to bring action without meaning. While the Wicks attempt a layer of seriousness and depth, they flop in that regard.

Boy, do I find myself tempted to simply cut and paste my review of Chapter 3! While Chapter 4 itself doesn’t deliver a clone of its immediate predecessor, it does come with precisely the same strengths and weaknesses.

Though we find one notable change for Chapter 4: running time. Whereas Chapter 3 clocked in at 131 minutes, the next flick spans a whopping 169 minutes.

When a movie pushes toward the three-hour mark, it needs a real reason to do so. In the case of the nearly plot-free Chapter 4, this elongated length seems wholly unnecessary, as we simply find far too little story or character material to fill all that cinematic space.

Honestly, I tend to find the Wicks monotonous. The action seems interesting in theory but rarely exciting.

The movies exist as a stunt coordinator's fantasy but that doesn't translate to interesting/thrilling material. Instead, they become repetitive and dull, a trend that continues with Chapter 4.

We find too little real plot/character information to make the stories engaging. As such, Chapter 4 just delivers endless reels of shoot shoot shoot stab stab stab kill kill kill.

And it seems absurd. Wick takes out hundreds of opponents with ease while none of them can shoot to literally save their lives. The Wick opponents boast worse aim than Imperial Stormtroopers!

I get that the Wicks don't really intend to exist in the real world. Still - for me, at least - there's a limit to how much "lack of reality" that can be swallowed, and I think the Wicks exceed it.

I can’t quibble with the series’ success, so obviously a lot of people enjoy the Wick MO. I definitely want to dig the flicks, which is why I come back for more every time a new one hits.

Unfortunately, we find diminishing returns – well, in general. The first Wick largely works, and the second seems decent, but the wheels come off the bus with Chapter 3.

Chapter 4 doesn’t show additional decline, and even with the crazy long running time, I prefer it to Chapter 3. Much of that comes from the addition of Donnie Yen as blind assassin Caine.

Nothing about this cliché character seems novel, and Yen doesn’t need to stretch his talents for the role. Nonetheless, he brings a little spark to the generally monotonous proceedings and ensures Chapter 4 fares better than its immediate predecessor.

Unfortunately, Yen can’t fully save Chapter 4 from its general sense of ennui. This feels like “been there, done that” territory, so don’t expect anything fresh from this fourth iteration of the Wick Series.

Footnote: a brief teaser for a potential spinoff appears after the end credits finish.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B+/ Bonus C+

John Wick: Chapter 4 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though it usually looked solid – and often excellent - some inconsistencies impacted the overall image.

In particular, some shots became oddly soft. Although the vast majority of the film displayed fine definition, more than a few strangely loose elements appeared as well.

Perhaps these resulted from the original cinematography, or perhaps the fact the disc packs in more than four hours of footage impacted some moments more than others. All I know is that the movie lacked consistent precision – and I don’t remember these distractions from my theatrical screening of Chapter 4.

No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects materialized, and I saw no edge haloes. Source flaws also didn’t become an issue.

Like the prior films, Chapter 4 opted for a highly stylized palette, on that favored a mix of strong golds/oranges/ambers as well as reds, blues, greens and pinks. These lit up the screen in the desired manner.

Blacks were usually fine, although they could seem a bit crushed, and shadows remained fairly clear and smooth. While this always remained a more than watchable image – and one that improved as it went – it nonetheless seemed erratic.

Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the movie’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack fared better. The audio fleshed out the material in a positive manner.

Unsurprisingly, the film’s many action scenes became the most impressive parts of the mix. These used the entire spectrum to place the viewer inside the violence and add solid involvement and punch.

Music displayed appealing breadth, and quieter scenes offered useful information as well. The soundfield worked well for the movie’s ambitions.

Audio quality satisfied as well, with speech that appeared natural and concise. Music showed good range and impact.

Effects became the most impressive aspect of the mix, as these elements appeared accurate and vivid. The audio worked well for the tale.

11 featurettes appear, and Through Wick and Thin goes for five minutes, 45 seconds. It involves producers Erica Lee and Basil Iwanyk, director Chad Stahelski, screenwriter Michael Finch, and actors Keanu Reeves, Shamier Anderson, Ian McShane, and Laurence Fishburne.

“Thin” examines the Reeves/Stahelski relationship and the evolution of the franchise. The program mixes fluff and facts.

Train Like a Killer runs five minutes, 55 seconds and brings info from Stahelski, Reeves, Fishburne, stunt coordinator Stephen Dunleavy, fight choreographer Jeremy Marinas, weapons master Robert Galotti, and stunt coordinator/2nd unit director Scott Rogers.

As implied by the title, the featurette looks at Reeves’ prep work for the role’s physical demands. It offers another combination of insights and happy talk.

Next comes Making a Killing, a six-minute, 25-second reel that features Stahelski, McShane, Reeves, Anderson, Lee, production designer Kevin Kavanaugh, executive producer Louise Rosner, special effects supervisor Gerd Nefzer and actors Scott Adkins, Bill Skarsgård and Hiroyuki Sanada.

“Killing” covers sets, locations and production design. We get a generally positive view of the subject matter.

The Psychology of a Killer spans four minutes, 32 seconds. It produces info from Stahelski, Reeves, Sanada, Rosner, and Iwanyk.

Here we find some character notes. These tend to feel more like promotion than anything else.

With The Blind Leading the Fight, we get a nine-minute, 18-second piece. We locate remarks from Reeves, Iwanyk, Stahelski, Marinas, Sanada and actor Donnie Yen.

“Blind” covers the Caine character and Yen’s performance. We find some of the usual puffy material but also locate a nice array of insights.

Suit Up/Shoot Up occupies five minutes, 41 seconds and delivers statements from Iwanyk, Anderson, Rosner, Stahelski, Skarsgård, costume designer Paco Delgado, fight choreographer Koji Kawamoto and actors Rina Sawayama and Natalia Tena.

“Suit” looks at costumes. It delivers an appealing view of these choices.

After this, Packing a Punch lasts four minutes, 41 seconds. Here we get material from Dunlevy, Nefzer, Stahelski, Marinas, Reeves, Anderson, visual effects supervisor Jonathan Rothbart, and animal coordinator Andrew Simpson.

This piece discusses stunts and unusual elements used in the film. Expect a semi-superficial but still moderately informative reel.

One Killer Shot runs three minutes, nine seconds. It includes comments from Marinas, Reeves, Rogers, Dunlevy, Galotti, and France stunt coordinator/fight choreographer Laurent Demianoff.

“Shot” views the creation of an action scene in which we view the material from overhead. It becomes another fluffy but moderately useful piece.

We follow with Killing at the Speed of Traffic. This 10-minute, 10-second piece features Stahelski, Dunlevy, Rogers, Reeves, Lee, Rothbart, Marinas, and stunt driving double Tanner Foust.

In this one, we learn about driving sequences and more stunts/locations. We find the usual happy talk and fact combo.

A Shot in the Dark fills five minutes, 43 seconds with remarks from Stahelski, Rogers, Lee, Demianoff, Rosner, Yen, Marinas, Dunlevy, and actor Marko Zaror.

With “Dark”, we look at the movie’s climax. Yes, it also combines puffery and insights.

Finally, In Honor of the Dead runs five minutes, 23 seconds. It includes material from Reeves, Stahelski, Yen, Fishburne, Finch, Lee, Sanada, Adkins, and Marinas.

“Honor” tells us about cinematic inspirations and influences. A few good notes emerge.

In addition to two trailers for Chapter Four, we find a Sneak Peek at the upcoming spinoff series called The Continental. In this three-minute, 10-second clip, we see a sample of what we will find. It shows nothing but the usual Wick-style action, so don’t anticipate any hints at story and character domains.

Should one expect new twists from John Wick: Chapter 4? No – for better or for worse, it follows the same MO as its predecessors. The Blu-ray comes with generally positive picture, solid audio and a decent array of bonus materials. While I feel semi-curious to see where the franchise goes from here, Chapter 4 does little for me on its own.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.3333 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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