John Wick: Chapter 4 reviews: Critics praise 'epic' three hour action sequel

The film is released on 24 March

John Wick creator Derek Kolstad expects Keanu Reeves to return for a fifth film (Image by Lionsgate)
Keanu Reeves in John Wick. (Lionsgate)

John Wick: Chapter 4 is still over a week away from hitting cinemas but the first reviews of the action sequel are starting to come in.

It's been four years since the release of the third instalment which ended with the titular assassin shot by his friend Winston and deciding to join forces with The Bowery King against the High Table.

Read more: Everything we know about John Wick 4

Chapter 4 sees Wick seek to overcome the High Table and the large bounty on his head as friends turn to enemies and new adversaries emerge.

Keanu Reeves once again plays John Wick while Laurence Fishburne, Ian McShane and Lance Reddick also reprise their roles from previous films.

Donnie Yen as Caine in John Wick: Chapter 4. (Murray Close/Lionsgate)
Donnie Yen as Caine in John Wick: Chapter 4. (Lionsgate)

New additions to the cast include Donnie Yen as Caine, a high level assassin, Bill Skarsgard as a member of the High Table, Hiroyuki Sanada as an old friend of John Wick's, Scott Adkins as the head of the German Table and pop star Rina Sawayama as Akira.

With John Wick: Chapter 4 out on 24 March, lets look at some of the reviews already in.

In a positive four star review, the BBC said: "The twist in Chapter 4 is that John Wick goes full James Bond, globe-trotting and shooting his way through glamorous cities, with action that is even more spectacularly staged.

"Running at 2 hours and 49 minutes, it is bigger than the previous films in every way ­– not better or worse, just more."

Laurence Fishburne as Bowery King in John Wick: Chapter 4. (Murray Close/Lionsgate)
Laurence Fishburne as Bowery King in John Wick: Chapter 4. (Lionsgate)

Empire Magazine also said: "If you’re going to watch this, the action’s what you want, and as far as that goes, you just can’t knock it. It is incredibly tactile – it hurts. You can see that Reeves really is doing a huge amount of it himself, and it counts.

You feel it. He’s treated like a rag doll in this one, towards the end bringing to mind Buster Keaton – the extremity is funny, intentionally so. He gets knocked down, but he gets up again. And again, and again, and again. Pray for his bones."

Read more: Who would win in a fight between John Wick and Neo?

IGN also praised the sequel: "It seemed like an impossible task, but the Baba Yaga has a history of delivering on those: John Wick: Chapter 4 stands above its predecessors – and the past decade’s worth of action films as a whole – as a modern epic, something Keanu Reeves and Chad Stahelski have been driving at since 2014."

Rina Sawayama as Akira Shimazu in John Wick: Chapter 4. (Murray Close/Lionsgate)
Rina Sawayama as Akira Shimazu in John Wick: Chapter 4. (Lionsgate)

The Hollywood Reporter also enjoyed the sheer amount of action: "Bigger, badder, bolder, longer, and featuring nearly more spectacular set pieces than one movie can comfortably handle, this epic action film practically redefines the stakes.

"If at times it's hard to avoid the feeling that the excessive mayhem is coming dangerously close to overkill, that seems suitable for a film series featuring body counts higher than some wars."

Conversely, The Guardian awarded the film two stars and said: "The most faithful faction of the Wick fandom will undoubtedly be pleased to see their belief that you can’t have too much of a good thing put into practice.

"Those who appreciated the original for its brutal, sinewy agility have another thing coming: a lumbering, stultifying gargantua of a film willing to kill everything except its darlings."

John Wick: Chapter 4 is in cinemas from 24 March.

Watch a trailer below: