Keanu Reeves reprises his role as the legendary assassin John Wick in the fourth installment of the series set to hit theaters March 24th, 2023. Screenshot from YouTube.
When I heard that the John Wick: Chapter 4 trailer had dropped, I immediately stopped all the work I wasn’t doing and watched it 47 times on YouTube.
While many action franchises seem to lose their luster with each successive installment (looking at you Fast & Furious, Star Wars, and every action movie Steven Seagal has ever made), the John Wick films don’t seem to suffer from that same curse. If the Chapter 4 trailer is any indication, the saga of John Wick hasn’t lost its momentum.
The short teaser is chock-full of savagely violent moments that will make you say, “Damn … did he just throw an ax at that dude’s face?” And yes, he did. Was it more impressive than killing a man with a pencil? Who’s to say, but that’s one of the many reasons we're fans of John Wick: The action sequences are always creative, stylish, and just plain fun to watch.
Somewhere between my 32nd and 33rd time watching it, it dawned on me that the John Wick: Chapter 4 trailer is a veritable highlight reel of beautifully executed kills. Sure, they’re mostly nameless henchmen getting taken out in stylish ways — which, granted, is nothing new — but it seems like, in this next installment, Wick has really taken his killing game to a whole ‘nother level.
Dubious? Grab your finest Glock and Gucci suit, and let me break it down for you. Here are the five most gloriously violent moments from the John Wick: Chapter 4 trailer.
This henchman is just AX-ing for trouble … Ok, that was bad. Don’t leave yet, I can do better. Screenshot from YouTube.
Do you know what the best thing about this shot is? That there isn’t one cell phone in sight. It's just a crowd of people who are completely oblivious to the several dead bodies on the floor and the highly trained assassin chucking an ax at a guy’s face because they’re way too busy dancing their little hearts out and living in the moment. It’s beautiful.
Dance away, awkward-finger-pistols guy on the right side of the picture; dance away. You only live once.
Seems like this henchman is suffering from a bad case of Hellitosis. Get it? Because he got shot in the face by a dragon’s breath round, which is fire, and then hell has fire too, and getting shot in the face with fire is bad like hell is bad, so you mash all that up and get ‘Hell-itosis’ which is a play on the clinical term for bad breath, “halitosis” . Ok, I’ll pack my things. Screenshot from YouTube.
In the fourth installment of the John Wick franchise, the vengeful assassin tracks down and kills everyone who fucked with the thermostat in his house. Okay, we made that up, but don’t you think about doing this to people when they mess with the thermostat? No? Yeah, me neither.
In this clip, Wick shoots a henchman at point-blank range with an incendiary shotgun round commonly referred to as dragon's breath, because shooting them at point-blank range with regular buckshot wouldn’t make him dead enough for Wick.
I would much rather get shot in the face by flaming buckshot than have a spicy German fur missile turn my hotdog (euphemism for penis, in case you didn’t catch it) into hamburger (the mangled remains of what was once a penis). Screenshot from YouTube.
The most savage thing about this scene is that it’s not going to end quickly. That four-legged anti-crotch weapon is going to bite down with 291 psi of testicle-popping pressure and spend the subsequent 45 minutes mangling that henchman’s man bits until they look like someone spilled a can of Beanie Weenies on a Jackson Pollock painting. It’s going to be hard to watch, but it’s a John Wick movie, so of course we’re going to watch it and enjoy it.
How much of a complete douche has this guy been throughout his life to deserve such a fate? He’s probably the kind of person who leaves pocket change for tips or doesn’t share articles written by Eric Miller at Coffee or Die. Don’t be like this guy … or else. Screenshot from YouTube.
We can’t help but feel that Baba Yaga went a little far with this one. Shooting a guy who is tumbling back to earth after getting hit by a car is like setting a retirement home on fire. It’s hard to tell from the short clip, but given the overall savage tone of the trailer, we’d be willing to bet that this henchmen landed in a pit of vipers or got squashed flat by a Buick Century. Guess we’ll have to wait until March 24 to find out for sure.
As a fairly sub-par archer, this scene makes me feel a little bit better about how close I have to scoot up to the target to hit anything.
You’re probably asking yourself what the hell a bow is doing in a gun-heavy franchise like John Wick, and the short answer to that is: really cool shit.
At first, the humble bow seemed a little out of place amid all the Armani and ARs, but that quickly changed during the scene above, when the badass mystery archer delivered a double flying knee to the chest of some tacticool nerd and promptly got to the point via a well-placed arrow through the eye. Although I’ve never been shot in the eye with an arrow, I did get an eyelash stuck in my eye for like 10 minutes one time, which is basically the same thing, so I feel that guy's pain. Hang in there, buddy.
Eric Miller is a former Army Combat Medic from Parkersburg, West Virginia. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history and has worked with homeless populations and veteran services throughout the state. He is an avid outdoorsman and has recently become interested in woodworking.
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