When we last saw Keanu Reeves’ John Wick, he was battered, bloodied, betrayed, and vowing revenge on the High Table. That’s going to involve a lot of killing, as evidenced by the action-packed, very bloody final trailer for John Wick: Chapter 4.
(Some spoilers for the first three films below.)
As I’ve written previously, for the benefit of those who missed the first three movies, Wick (Reeves) is a legendary hitman who tried to retire when he fell in love and got married. Unfortunately, he was drawn back into the dark underground world after his wife’s untimely death. Some Russian gangsters stole his car, beat him up, and killed the adorable new puppy, Daisy, that his late wife had arranged to be sent to him after her funeral. Who could blame the man for seeking (and taking) bloody retribution?
The film was a huge hit, so naturally there was a sequel. In John Wick: Chapter 2, Wick took on a whole slew of Russian baddies and also found himself honor-bound (per the professional hitman’s code) to go on one last assignment. Of course he succeeded—he’s John Wick—but he ended up killing the double-crossing client—newly named to the High Table—inside the Continental Hotel in New York, which is supposed to be a safe space for assassins. Wick was declared “excommunicato,” cutting him off from all the resources the hitman underground usually provides.
That’s where John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum picked up, with Wick scrambling to find allies (and ammo) to fight off pretty much the entire underworld of assassins, all of them eager to claim the bounty on his head. John negotiated a deal for the forgiveness of his many transgressions against the High Table in exchange for killing Winston (Ian McShane), manager of the NYC Continental. But when the time came, John refused, so the High Table sent its army of assassins. John killed pretty much all of them, but then Winston betrayed John, shooting him. John survived and joined forces with the badly wounded Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) to exact their mutual revenge on the High Table.
The four principals are returning for this installment: Reeves, McShane, Fishburne, and Lance Reddick as Charon, the urbane concierge of the NYC Continental. Among the new characters is Akira, played by Japanese singer-songwriter Rina Sawayama in her feature-film debut. The cast also includes top Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen as a blind High Table assassin named Caine, apparently a friend of Wick’s; Hiroyuki Sanada as another old friend named Shimazu; Shamier Anderson as The Tracker; Bill Skarsgård as the Marquis de Gramont, a new member of the High Table; Clancy Brown as The Harbinger; George Georgiou as The Elder; and Scott Adkins as Killa, who shares a common enemy with Wick.
Per the official premise:
John Wick (Keanu Reeves) takes on his most lethal adversaries yet in the upcoming fourth installment of the series. With the price on his head ever increasing, Wick takes his fight against the High Table global as he seeks out the most powerful players in the underworld, from New York to Paris to Osaka to Berlin.
Reeves swung by San Diego Comic-Con last July to introduce a sneak peek teaser for the film, featuring a smörgåsbord of action shots: samurai swords, nunchucks, bows and arrows, “dog fu,” daggers, and of course, guns, guns, guns. The first official trailer, set to a cover of “Seasons in the Sun,” dropped last November. We were introduced to the Marquis de Gramont. Winston advised John to challenge him to single combat since, win or lose, he will finally be able to escape his predicament—even if that escape involves his death. We also learned that while John doesn’t sit at the High Table, apparently his family does.
This final trailer doesn’t shed much more light on the plot and largely eschews dialogue, preferring to give fans all the action and bloodshed we’ve come to expect from this franchise in a tightly edited minute and a half. Based on this footage, the choreographed fight scenes will (once again) not disappoint. The run time is nearly three hours, and you can be sure that all that fighting will ratchet up Wick’s already impressive body count even more.
John Wick: Chapter 4 hits theaters on March 24. Yes, there will be a Chapter 5. A spinoff film, Ballerina, will feature Ana de Armas as a young woman raised to be an assassin vowing revenge on those who killed her family. There is also a limited TV series in development, The Continental, focused on a young Winston in the 1970s, played by Colin Woodell.
Listing image by YouTube/Lionsgate