By Sam Vine
<<<Spoilers Ahead >>>
John Wick: Chapter 4, released on March 24, was met with an outstanding box office opening, earning $73.8 million domestically and $67.6 million overseas. Positive reviews poured in from audiences and critics alike.
“John Wick 4 is a masterclass in action movies,” film critic Sheraz Farooqi said in a RottenTomatoes.com review. “Chad Stahelski brings his absolute best game to this film, with action sequences that leave you in awe. With incredible stunts, sets, and cinematography, it’s one of the best films of the year thus far.”
The John Wick franchise follows a legendary retired assassin played by Keanu Reeves who is dragged back into his old life to get revenge on the people who killed his dog, a last gift from his dead wife.
After payback, he continues to be dragged into the world of assassins and The High Table, who run everything. They put a bounty on his head, and everyone he once considered friends turns on him to try to kill him.
The first John Wick movie came out in 2014 and was the directorial debut of a former stuntman, Chad Stahelski.
Rumor established John Wick: Chapter 4 as the end of the John Wick series. With the ending leaving its title character dead without a possibility for a new chapter, everyone believed that this was the end for Keanu Reeve’s iconic assassin.
The fourth installment in the John Wick franchise sees John Wick, once again, dealing with the consequences of his actions in the previous movie. However, he finally takes the fight to The High Table and goes global to seek out the most powerful players in the underworld, from New York to Paris to Japan to Berlin.
Wick 4 ends by earning his freedom and the freedom of his friends; however, the injuries sustained during the movie cause him to collapse, and his grave is shown next to his wife, suggesting that he has found that freedom through his death.
Lionsgate, who produced the John Wick movies, said that viewers shouldn’t count out John Wick: Chapter 5 just yet.
When it was made, there were no plans of a future cinematic universe for John Wick. Stahelski simply desired to make a realistically-choreographed action movie with his friend from The Matrix movies, Keanu Reeves.
After the success of the first movie, there was a demand for more. Lionsgate delivered with plans to create more movies that explore the world of John Wick. Lionsgate is now producing its very first spin-off of John Wick, Ballerina, and they have plans to produce other movies in the John Wick universe in the future.
It isn’t uncommon in the movie industry for movies to be made as stand-alone films before later spawning massive franchises. Take movies like Planet of the Apes, Alien, Die Hard, Godzilla, Halloween, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Star Wars.
Although fans are initially thrilled with the addition of movies to their favorite cinematic universe, eventually many come to see the downside of having more movies simply for the sake of having more movies.
Star Wars is a perfect example; the original three movies spawned by the success of the first were fantastic and enjoyed by critics and fans. But the studio continued to add more and more movies, which clearly didn’t have the same sparkle as the first ones. They not only lost the magic of the first few but also caused the franchise legacy to diminish.
Some fans are worried that the John Wick franchise, which has been set apart by its realistic world and gritty characters, will be reduced to a simple action movie franchise like everything else.
Unnecessary sequels can be the result of producers’ never-ending search for profits rather than a dedication to the story.
Sometimes, the best thing for a story is for it to end.
John Wick: Chapter 4 was definitely a great addition to the franchise, with a compelling plot and fantastic action. It ended John Wick’s story perfectly, with him finally finding peace and freedom in his own death and sacrifice for the ones he loves.
A continuation of the story, simply because of the money that will be made, is a disservice to the world created by Keanu Reeves and Chad Stahelski.
Some fans are excited about the prospect of more movies, and I hope there are more movies as long as they are made with the same love and dedication that made the first four so great.