Saying Hello

Beginning the final act, John Wick: Chapter 4 spends 25-minutes locked into an action scene that spreads across Paris, maintaining the graphic classiness that earned John Wick a following, if extending toward absurdities more akin to Fast & Furious. With Star Wars Stormtrooper-like inaccuracy, no one can land a shot on Wick (Keanu Reeves), but they sure can hit them with their cars. At least five of them in fact. But Wick gets back up.

Through its dizzying, changing allegiances, John Wick: Chapter 4 spends nearly three hours telling this (supposedly) final chapter, the lore increasingly convoluted, if not wholly made up as the scripts go along. What remains engaging though, attempted substance aside, is Wick’s own determination. To understand Wick is to understand grief, anger, and unrelenting vengeance, put onto the screen as a lavish action piece where the character matters beyond all else.

If John Wick: Chapter 4 is meant to cap Wick’s turmoil, anger, and brutality, it does so

At times, it’s inspired. Putting Scott Adkins inside a sweltering fat suit and asking him to kick as he always has seems unnecessarily challenging, if creating a memorably sniveling brutish man whose fury is told by the growing beads of sweat on his face. Also Donnie Yen, cast for the second time in America as a blind martial artist (Rogue One did the same), offers a reprieve from Wick himself, creating an equally engaging character and cause. John Wick: Chapter 4, while long, does use its time wisely when not focusing on the Continental, gold coins, and ancient rules not even a lawyer could grasp.

The marketplace will undoubtedly dictate otherwise, yet this is a fine stopping point for the series. Over four films, the action variety and choreography astound, even if the speed seems to tick down a notch as age takes over Reeves. If John Wick: Chapter 4 is meant to cap Wick’s turmoil, anger, and brutality, it does so. What started with a puppy reaches an organic end point that’s so beyond what happened in John Wick, it’s impossible to ever go back to what are – now anyway, in comparison – simple club shootouts.

Like The Matrix before it, John Wick: Chapter 4 (and its predecessors) redefined western action cinema, infusing it with Hong Kong vibes via long takes and elaborate hand-to-hand design. The work is done and American action cinema will be better for it long term, assuming the proper lessons were learned. To do it again feels absurd.


Masterfully shot digitally at full 4K, the resolution on display is quite luxurious. Detectable ringing does show through (look at the distant mountains against the skyline during the first horse chase action scene). That’s the lone holdup keeping this from perfection, leaving the sense the sharpness was bumped to middle setting on the TV. Look at the ceiling lights at 55:21 for visible aliasing as well. This roughens otherwise gorgeous shots, generally wide angle material. Mostly, this is confined to the first act, but does reappear elsewhere.

Otherwise, John Wick 4 is beyond precise. If ringing is the cost of delivering detail at this tier, it’s almost worth it. Facial definition looks ridiculously pure, and establishing shots of cities (and the like) present meticulously refined imagery.

Multiple palettes steer the color in various directions, beginning in amber/gold, switching to solid, striking blues. Even orange/teal appears, as if back in the early 2010s. Dolby Vision adds the final bite, contrast searing and black levels pristine. Incendiary rounds used during the final act look dazzling. Shadows, even when crushing in places, still manage to deliver the necessary depth. John Wick 4’s dimensionality is reference, even if the color grading can and will skew the black levels toward various deep blues or greens.


As soon as punches hit rope after the opening credits, it’s clear John Wick 4 is going to be one of “those” discs, an absolute bass monster that even the best subwoofers will cry over. Joining the likes of Godzilla vs Kong, Transformers, and other John Wick entries, the bass represents an absolute crushing peak for home audio. Gunshots, music, explosions, and more erupt in the low-end. Plus, it’s wonderfully varied, from the deepest levels to the lighter jolts. The range is remarkable.

Sword clashes and gunfire bounce speaker-to-speaker effortlessly. Atmos effects remain lean, but where possible, they shine as well. Ejected bullet shells bounce onto the floor alongside the specific placement of the shots themselves. Beyond the action, voices separate the soundstage flawlessly, varying enough in volume/position to suggest distance from the listening position without visual aid.


Bonuses come on both the 4K and Blu-ray discs. Sadly, it’s mostly fluff featurettes, 11 of them. Each major action scene earns a look behind-the-scenes, with additional pieces focused on cast members (Donnie Yen, for instance). It’s all simple and routine.

John Wick: Chapter 4
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras


John Wick: Chapter 4 is a lot of John Wick to take, but it uses its time wisely while treading toward the absurd.

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 53 full resolution, uncompressed 4K screen shots ripped directly from the UHD:

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