1 December 2023

Keanu Reeves in


How do you maintain the necessary balance between repetition and innovation when you want to add a new episode to a film franchise whose foundations and limits seem to have been laid down once and for all? It must be recognized that the fourth episode of the saga John Wick comes up with a rather unique solution. The hero of the series is the creation of screenwriter Derek Kolstad who began his career in 2012, writing two scripts for action films featuring an aging Dolph Lundgren. Released in 2014, John Wick relied on a worn pattern, that of the killer returning to service.

A hired assassin in the service of the Belarusian mafia in New York, John Wick found his lethal reflexes of yesteryear to take revenge on the thugs who had killed his dog (a gift from his dying wife) and stolen his car, which had become a transitional object for mourning. inconsolable. Because the melancholy dimension is a crucial factor in the journey of a hero forced, from episode to episode, to leave his retirement and face an impressive number of henchmen eager to touch the astronomical bounty offered by an occult superpower of crime, the Big table. All the titles are directed by Chad Stahelski, who was notably responsible for the stunts for many action films including the series of Matrix.

As the episodes progressed, the action became the sole fuel for a headlong rush within a universe increasingly losing all link with the reality of any social world now reduced to an advertising image. made up of art galleries, dance floors and historical monuments. A world that digital techniques affect with infinite plasticity.

Unmarkable Keanu Reeves

The staging of ultra-choreographed fights, borrowing from Chinese martial arts cinema, Japanese sword films, the staging of both suffering and indestructible bodies such as we have seen in the works of John McTiernan, to the ecstatic excess of the style of a John Woo, just as much as to the cartoon, to the comic strip and video games, now constitutes the essential, encompassing all the rest. In short, the John Wick recycle, in a mixture of abstraction and fireworks, a rhetoric of violence, disconnected from everything.

The fourth installment in the series continues a process begun in previous installments. The hero is always the prey of a horde of assassins whom he faces during a journey that leaves Morocco to go through New York, Berlin and Paris. The formidable Donnie Yen as a blind killer (probably a reference to the Japanese series of Zatoichiinvincible swordsman character suffering from blindness embodied by Shintaro Katsu) is here the nemesis of the main character still embodied, with ironic elegance, by the incorruptible Keanu Reeves.

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