Everyone Is Saying The Same Thing About John Wick 4
John Wick 4 is almost three hours long.
“People keep asking if I’m back… And now, yeah, I’m thinkin’ I’m back.” Keanu Reeves is back in John Wick 4. The neo-noir action thriller is debuting at SXSW this week, and according to Rotten Tomatoes, critics have one thing to say about it: it’s long.
Nearly every single one of the 26 critical reviews excerpted on John Wick 4’s Rotten Tomatoes page makes a reference to the film’s length. Caryn James gives a very neutral review that reads: “Running at 2 hours and 49 minutes, it is bigger than the previous films in every way – not better or worse, just more.”
Leag Greenblatt also mentions that John Wick 4 is “nearly three hours” long and full of “wham-bam noise and nonsense” with no real plot, but that it somehow still works.
Ian Sandwell defines the film as “epic” in length, scale, and thrills and admits that it is “not bad for a series that started out with a hitman avenging his dead puppy.” Eric Eisenberg agrees that it is “epic” in terms of runtime but posits that John Wick 4 may just be the best of the series sequels.
While the reviews for John Wick 4 are mostly positive, reviewers are quick to admit that this new film won’t convert anyone who wasn’t already a John Wick fan. In fact, some say that it may not be as good as previous John Wick films because it has a different writer. Some reviewers say that that switch has resulted in a film that is “hard to follow” and “not engaging” and that it is, to put it simply, a very slow movie.
The plot of John Wick 4 involves our favorite assassin finding a path to taking down The High Table to finally get out of the business for good, but before he does, he has to fight a new foe who has connections around the world. Old friends turn into enemies, and no one knows who to trust in this continuation of the well-loved action thriller series.
John Wick 4 also stars Bill Skarsgård, Donnie Yen, Laurence Fishburne, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ian McShane, Rina Sawayama, Shamier Anderson, Lance Reddick, and Scott Adkins. Natalie Tena also appears, playing Katia, John Wick’s adopted sister.
Fans are a bit nervous about John Wick 4, as the director has stated in the past that this fourth installment would not have a happy ending. Maybe John Wick would survive, but he has also killed hundreds of people, so it can’t be a simple, ride-off-into-the-sunset sort of thing. In fact, some critics are complaining about the ending (but not spoiling it, so we can’t say why), but there is good news for those who may be unsatisfied with this installment: there is another one coming.
John Wick 4 most likely won’t be the last in the franchise, as there is already a fifth film planned, in addition to the Ana de Armas-led Ballerina spin-off coming soon. Keanu Reeves has also stated that he will keep coming back to play John Wick as long as people want him to.
So, fans of John Wick, get ready: if you want to see John Wick 4 during its opening weekend and find out what everyone is talking about, you’re going to have to stay in your theater seat for a while. So maybe rethink buying that extra-large theater soft drink before you go in so you don’t miss anything.