I appear on “CTV News at 6” with anchor Pauline Chan to talk about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week I have a look at the return of two highly anticipated series, “Succession” and ” Yellowjackets” on HBO and Crave, and, in theatres, the bloodthirsty ballet of “John Wick” Chapter 4.”
I join NewsTalk 1010 host Jim Richards on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “NewsTalk Tonight” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about the wick-ed action of “John Wick: Chapter 4,” the dramedy “The Lost King” with Sally Hawkins and the romantic drama “You Can Live Forever.”
I join CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to talk about the wick-ed action of “John Wick: Chapter 4,” the addiction drama “A Good Person” with Morgan Freeman and Florence Pugh, the dramedy “The Lost King” with Sally Hawkins and the romantic drama “You Can Live Forever.”
I sit in with CKTB morning show guest host Stephanie Vivier to have a look at the wick-ed action of “John Wick: Chapter 4,” the addiction drama “A Good Person” with Morgan Freeman and Florence Pugh, the dramedy “The Lost King” with Sally Hawkins and the romantic drama “You Can Live Forever.”
I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Andrew Pinsent to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the wick-ed action of “John Wick: Chapter 4,” the addiction drama “A Good Person” with Morgan Freeman and Florence Pugh, the dramedy “The Lost King” with Sally Hawkins and the romantic drama “You Can Live Forever.”
“Why don’t you just die?” screams one of the hundreds of people looking to kill the titular character in “John Wick: Chapter 4,” the wild new Keanu Reeves assassin movie now playing in theatres.
Why doesn’t he just die? Because he’s John Wick, a mix of Anton Chigurgh, Wile E. Coyote and the Energizer Bunny, that’s why.
If you’re a fan of the movies, you already know Wick can take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’. You don’t need the backstory to enjoy the new film, but it might help. Here’s a quick John Wick Wiki to get you up to speed.
The John Wick Universe is a place where an association of twelve crime lords, called the High Table, govern the underworld’s most powerful criminal organizations. They control the Continental, a hotel chain with exclusive branches sprinkled across the globe that serve as homebases for assassins. It is a place run by a strict set of rules, like never do “business” on the premises, by managers like Wick’s friend Winston Scott (Ian McShane) who runs the New York outlet.
Legendary hitman Wick ran afoul of the High Table, and was declared excommunicado. He is persona non grata and they want him dead. Trouble is, he’s hard to kill.
Also, he really loves dogs as much he loves killing people. There. You’re caught up.
At the beginning of the new film, High Table elder and all-round psychopath, Marquis de Gramont (Bill Skarsgård), displeased with Winston’s continuing connection to Wick, decommissions the Continental New York. “He is the face of your failure,” he sneers.
With one of his last allies rendered powerless, Wick must get to the Marquis before the Marquis can get to him.
Cue an amount of mayhem rarely seen this side of Russian car wreck videos on YouTube.
At 2 hours and 49 minutes “John Wick: Chapter 4” is by far the longest film in the franchise. Heck, it’s even longer than “Pulp Fiction,” “A Clockwork Orange” and “Raging Bull,” but director Chad Stahelski maintains interest, staging at least one major action sequence, more like a well-choreographed ballet for the blood thirsty, each hour. People get gone in spectacular ways, Wick defies the laws of physics and medical science to get his revenge and some of the world’s most beautiful locations become the backdrop to Wick style mayhem.
A scene staged in the roundabout circling Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is an eyepopper, one of the best big screen action scenes in recent years not directed by George Miller. A shoot out on the 200 steps of Paris’s Sacré-Cœur has an anarchic cartoon vibe that would make the Tasmanian Devil envious. Tom Cruise may be famous for his signature run, but after this, I think, Reeves will be remembered for falling down stairs. It’s a wild, extended ticking-clock sequence that uses slapstick humor to alleviate the tension as Wick violently makes his way to a date with destiny.
Adding to the action sweepstakes are Hong Kong martial arts superstar Donnie Yen as the blind assassin Caine, and legendary Japanese actor and martial artist Hiroyuki Sanada, last seen on screen with Reeves in 2013’s “47 Ronin,” who plays the manager of the Osaka Continental Hotel and an old friend of Wick. Yen is effortlessly cool, with an elegant and humorous fighting style that threatens to steal the show from Wick’s blunt force. Sanada has fighting skills and brings gravitas to the character, a man who values loyalty above all. The personality each bring to their scenes adds much to the effectiveness of the action.
Director Stahelski stages several all-timer action scenes with grace and inventiveness, always remembering to keep the frenetic battles clean and easy to follow.
Of course, the Wick movies are all about the central character, a man whose path to inner peace is littered with the bodies of the people he’s killed. Like a character straight out of a Sergio Leone film, he is a man of few words, and few motivations. In part, that is what makes the character and the movies so enjoyable. He may be the most lethal man on the planet, but, in each movie, his violent tendencies are in service of one objective. There is no muddled middle ground for Wick, no waffling, and that clarity of purpose keeps the movies from becoming cluttered, even at an epic 169-minute run time.
If “John Wick: Chapter 4” is the last film starring Keanu Reeves in the series—it is set-up for spin-offs within the Wickverse—then it goes out with a bang.
Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to cast a spell! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about the wick-ed action of “John Wick: Chapter 4,” the dramedy “The Lost King” with Sally Hawkins and the romantic drama “You Can Live Forever.”
I introed the Canadian premier of “John Wick: Chapter 4” with stars Keanu Reeves and Shamier Anderson and director Chad Stahelski. Instead of the planned Q&A, they did a tribute to Lance Reddick, a co-star in all four Wick movies, who passed away earlier in the day.