Directed by: Chad Stahelski
Written by: Shay Hatten and Michael Finch
“Baba Yaga” is back! Since 2014’s John Wick, Keanu Reeves has taken the assassin brought back from retirement genre to new heights of realistic action and tactical maneuvering. Having the actor train relentlessly in both firearms handling and martial arts, and showcasing these training videos as part of the film’s promotion, is brilliant. This series of films has taken our elite assassin from seeking revenge for the killing of his dog to seeking revenge against the High Table that keeps trying to kill him. This franchise is known for its epic fight sequences and super realistic gun battles. This film does not disappoint and this review will be a Writing a Movie RIGHT review.
Here comes the spoilers.
Since the events of the previous three films, John has been hiding underground with the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne). John has been preparing himself to take revenge against the High Table and he starts off with first going to Morocco and killing the Elder of the High Table. The High Table appoints the Marquis de Gamont (Bill Skarsgard) with unlimited resources to kill John Wick as the 12 members are now threatened by John. The Marquis goes to New York where he summons New York Continental hotel manager Winston (Ian McShane) and his concierge, Charon (the late Lance Reddick) to his office for a meeting. A meeting that has Winston’s hotel destroyed and his concierge killed in front of him before he himself is declared “excommunicado.” De Garmont heads to Paris to enlist the services of a retired assassin Caine (Donnie Yen). Caine refuses at first, but when the Marquis threatens his daughter he reluctantly agrees.
After Morocco, John goes to the Osaka Continental which is run by an old friend named Koji (Hiroyuki Sanada). Within minutes of them catching up on recent events, the Marquis’ right-hand man, Chidi, and multiple assassins arrive to investigate the hotel for hiding John. Koji’s daughter Akira is the hotel concierge and has her staff evacuate the hotel before the clash between the hotel staff and assassins begins. Caine is with Chidi and after all of the assassins are killed off a showdown between John and Caine begins, and soon we’re were officially introduced to Mr. Nobody (Shamier Anderson), the tracker who follows John throughout the movie as John slips away thanks to Koji’s help. Koji stays behind to face Caine in a spectacular sword showdown. The performances by Yen and Sanada is perfection.
John visits with Winston and is given a way to end the killing once and for all by issuing the challenge of a duel to the Marquis. John has to be a member of a family to be able to issue the challenge. He goes to Berlin to ask his former family the Ruska Roma to readmit him. The leader tells him she will do this if he kills the High Table member who killed her father. John walks into an ambush, but ends up killing the man and regaining his family status. Winston relays the challenge to the Marquis and a meeting is moderated between him and John in which terms of the duel are set. They will meet at sunrise with dueling pistols at Sacre-Coeur. De Garmont nominates Caine to fight in his place. Caine is visibly upset by this as he and John are old friends, and he cannot let John live because his daughter’s life is at risk.
The night and morning before the duel the bounty on John is raised to 26 million and finally to 40 million in attempt to prevent him from reaching to the duel location in time. Here is the only change I would have written; bring back the Ruska Roma family to help John ascend the steps leading to the duel. Especially the one character named “Klaus.” Then have the rest of the sequences play out with Mr. Nobody and Caine helping John up the stairs to the duel. I won’t spoil the ending, but needless to say it is about as perfect of an ending as can be.
As with all the John Wick films, the gun fights and action sequences are brutal and as realistic as possible. Keanu Reeves is almost 60-years-old and is doing so much stunt work in this film. The sequences with the overhead shots of the action and the Arc de Triomphe is amazing. Although the director has said this is the last film, I think we may still see Keanu Reeves don the all black bullet-proof suit once again.
Thanks for reading Writing Movie “WRONGS.”
Writing Movie Wrongs (MovieWrongs.com) was created by Author Jim West to show how great storytelling is built on strong writing. In each review, he aims to highlight points in film that capture what the medium is capable of, or provide feedback on small improvements that would make a huge difference to the story’s plot. Read more about Jim West at JimWestAuthor.com.