John Wick: Chapter 4 (Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray)

John Wick uncovers a path to defeating The High Table. But before he can earn his freedom, Wick must face off against a new enemy with powerful alliances across the globe and forces that turn old friends into foes.

August 2, 2023 8 Min Read

Review by: Matt Malouf

Plot: What’s it about?

It’s rare to see the fourth film in a series turn out to be the best, but here we are. John Wick: Chapter 4 is easily my favorite of this series and is turning out to be my favorite film this year. I am surprised to say that myself as I haven’t exactly cherished this series as many have. I felt the second film improved on what I felt was an overhyped first film only to lose me by the meandering third chapter. All has been restored by this offering as its nearly 3-hour run time zips by. One spinoff is approaching, but if this is indeed the last of the solo Wick films then they easily went out on a high note. I have seen this film now over 4 times and it never loses its luster.

The High Table (as we hear a lot about in this series) is sort of an underground organization that has rules for those committed to it. John Wick (Keanu Reeves) wanted to retire from this life, but factors interfered that prevented that from happening. Our villain this time around is Marquis Vincent Bisset de Gramont (Bill Skarsgard). He declares himself in charge of the organization and wants nothing more than to have John Wick killed. He enlists none other than a blind man named Caine (Donnie Yen). Don’t think of that as a deterrent for this character as he seems to possess a quality not unlike Daredevil. And that is one of many, many interesting characters in this third sequel. All of them are interesting and all of them are given something to do. Returning here as well are Ian McShane and Lawrence Fishburne, respectively. They’re fine, but virtually everything else here just clicks. I can’t state it enough, but this film gets it right. We have a worthy villain, but really, this is a film filled with villains. It’s hard to even think of John Wick as anything other than that, even if he’s the more sympathetic one here. What I loved most about this film is that it leaves self-seriousness out of the equation. There isn’t a lot of filler here, despite the lengthy run time. That is a problem that I felt especially hurt the previous installment as it became so bogged down in exposition. I also appreciated that it keeps things moving, not just in terms of story, but with the various locations, all of which are a treat to look at. It seems that no matter where John Wick goes, trouble will follow.

I will be the first to say that I rolled my eyes when I first heard of the film’s 169-minute running time, but believe me, it zips by. I would return to this film before any other in this series. It’s fun, it’s gruesome and it kept me involved. The premise is good, but simple enough to keep us with it, and the states feel high. There are times when our title character does seem a bit too invincible, but that didn’t stop my enjoyment. Everything here is so well choreographed and well staged that I find it exhausting just to imagine what they went through filming it. Wherever this series goes from here, I am officially on board. This film is highly recommended. The final moments might even take some viewers by surprise. There’s even a bit of emotion as well. Be sure to stick around through the end credits for a fun bonus.

Video: How’s it look?

With a 2.39:1 transfer, this 4K set simply looks amazing. Having seen the film more than a few times theatrically, I can say that it comes to the home video market with great colors and details. The cinematography is one of the film’s many strong suits, and thankfully, it’s well presented here. The film doesn’t just take us around the globe, but also, a lot of scenes are at night, but nothing feels shortchanged as it remained a treat to these eyes.

Audio: How’s it sound?

I sometimes feel the need to fill this space to not look too vacant, but the Dolby Atmos track simply rocks. I can say, after sampling the Blu-Ray disc that you just can’t go wrong either way. The vocals have the expected clarity, but it’s the numerous action scenes that will get your attention. It really engages us and brings us into this world. There are several set pieces but each one remained an involving experience. Like the transfer, this track satisfies.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • Chad and Keanu: Through Wick and Thin – A brief look at the producer/actor connection.
  • Train Like a Killer – This looks at some of the fight sequences.
  • Making a Killing – Here, we’re treated to a look at the cinematography.
  • The Psychology of a Killer – We get a glimpse into the minds of several of these characters.
  • The Blind Leading the Fight – This focuses on one of the film’s most interesting characters: the blind assassin.
  • Suit Up/Shoot up – This piece looks at the wardrobes featured in the film.
  • Packing a Punch – This one looks at the stunts.
  • One Killer Shot – Here, we’re treated to an overhead look at an action scene.
  • Killing at the Speed of Traffic – A sequence in the film takes place on a busy street with a lot of traffic. This piece looks at the creation of that.
  • A Shot in the Dark – We hear about shooting at night.
  • In Honor of the Dead – This one shows us some of the influences in the films.
  • Trailers

The Bottom Line

I never expected to like John Wick: Chapter 4 as much as I did, but not only is it my favorite of this series, but right now, it is my favorite film of the year. It just did it for me. The action sequences are involving and well staged, the story is good, but simple and effective, and the colorful cast of characters, old and new, all have something to do. Highly recommended.

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