Tag Archives: Bill Skarsgård

John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023) Review

Time: 169 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Bloody violence, cruelty & offensive language
Keanu Reeves as John Wick
Donnie Yen as Caine
Bill Skarsgård as the Marquis Vincent de Gramont
Laurence Fishburne as the Bowery King
Hiroyuki Sanada as Shimazu Koji
Shamier Anderson as Mr. Nobody/The Tracker
Lance Reddick as Charon
Rina Sawayama as Akira
Scott Adkins as Killa Harkan
Ian McShane as Winston Scott
Director: Chad Stahelski

With the price on his head ever increasing, legendary hit man John 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 Japan to Berlin.

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John Wick: Chapter 4 was one of my most anticipated movies of 2023. John Wick franchise really had an interesting journey. The first film released back in 2014, and people at the time didn’t really expect it to be good, but it became something of a cult hit. With its next sequels it quickly became one of the most notable action franchises of recent years, with each entry somewhat surpassing the previous movie in some way. As someone who loves the John Wick movies, I was really looking forward to how the fourth movie would be, and I have to say that John Wick Chapter 4 isn’t only the best movie in the series, but also one of the best action movies of recent years.

Chapter 4 is unsurprisingly even larger than the previous three films. There’s even more worldbuilding, the scope and scale expands with more locations, a large array of memorable supporting characters, and also a higher body count. It is also a very long movie at 2 hours and 50 minutes, and while I know this will be a turn off for people, I thought it worked really well. In spite of the many action set pieces, the plot takes its time, which helps considering a lot happens across its runtime. It doesn’t wear out its welcome and it never felt boring to me. It’s also the funniest John Wick movie, from the one-liners, to Charlie Chaplin levels of physical comedy. At the same time the story is pretty good and one that I was invested in, even if much of it is stringing one action set piece to another. It is a personal story for John Wick, and touches on themes of loss, regret, and vengeance. It is enjoyably campy and silly without getting self-conscious or snarky, but also is told with a sincerity which helped me get on board with it from beginning to end. There are even some moments that particularly bring the emotions. Then it all builds to a giant climax which is just action perfection, one of the best third acts I’ve ever seen for an action film.  

The cast here are great, in fact it’s probably the best collection of actors in all the four movies. Over the past near decade, Keanu Reeves has made John Wick one of his al- time iconic roles. There has been a real natural progression to Wick’s story during these four movies; his journey is well thought out and I particularly like the places that it goes in this movie. This character may be a man of few words, but Reeves conveys so many feelings and emotions in small subtle ways and through his line deliveries. Laurence Fishburne, Ian McShane, and the late Lance Reddick reprise their respective roles and reliably deliver strong performances. The new cast and characters are great and memorable too. Hiroyuki Sanada as usual is a great presence whenever he’s on screen, and Rina Sawayama is really good in her debut performance, especially with the action. Bill Skarsgard is entertaining and effortlessly hateable as the central villain, one of the better antagonists in the series. This movie has many people after John Wick, but there’s a couple that get the most attention; as a mysterious tracker with a dog, Shamier Anderson is really good and adds a unique presence, and Donnie Yen is amazing and might’ve been the standout to me. As blind assassin Caine, Yen’s action scenes are very entertaining, and I loved the scenes, dynamic and interactions between him and Wick. Scott Adkins dons a fat suit and prosthetics to deliver an unrecognisable and scene scenestealing performance, he’s very entertaining in his scenes. Other supporting actors like Clancy Brown and Natalia Tena also bring it to their scenes.

Chad Stahelski has been showing himself as one of the best action directors working today with the John Wick movies, and with every film, he somehow tops what he did before. Everything feels grand and epic, and its fantastically put together. The cinematography is outstanding, with fantastic lighting and composition, and the production design is excellent as always. The highlights of these movies however are the action, and they did not disappoint here. There are some incredible set pieces, the fights are so well choreographed and have excellent stuntwork. The action ranges from silly and slapstick to absolutely brutal (unsurprisingly). I don’t want to spoil the sequences as they are best experienced for yourself, but there’s plenty of variety to make each one feel fresh. It also does a good job avoiding making Wick feel invincible and easily plowing through enemies, as he is put up against harder odds. The third act is just pure masterful action, with stellar set piece after stellar action set piece, all of them thrilling, intense and entertaining. The score from Tyler Bates and Joel J. Richard is solid and adds to the action scene, and even to the quieter moments.

John Wick: Chapter 4 is highly satisfying and entertaining, beautifully directed with fantastic set pieces, and with memorable characters and performances. It’s impressive on all fronts, one of the best action movies of recent years, and already my favourite movie of the year.


Barbarian (2022) Review



Time: 102 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Graphic violence, horror, sexual violence references & offensive language
Georgina Campbell as Tess Marshall
Bill Skarsgård as Keith Toshko
Justin Long as AJ Gilbride
Director: Zach Cregger

A young woman discovers the rental home she booked is already occupied by a stranger. Against her better judgment, she decides to spend the night but soon discovers there’s a lot more to fear than just an unexpected house guest.

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I heard about Barbarian for a while; I just knew that it was a horror movie starring Bill Skarsgard and that plenty of people were saying it was best not knowing too much about it going in. I think it was worth all the hype overall.


Much of your experience with the movie will hinge on how little you know before going into it. I think it is worth watching blind because it goes in directions that you’re not initially expecting. Part of the premise is that Georgina Campbell arrives at the Airbnb she rented and finds that its already occupied by Bill Skarsgard, she then reluctantly spends the night there. That’s as much as you’ll want to know beforehand. Overall. I think the writing is strong. I was unsettled over the course of the movie, there is a strong atmosphere, suspense, and a real feeling of dread. There’s also some surprising humour which fits into the movie well. The humour isn’t so overt that you would call it a comedy, but it is subtle enough that it doesn’t take away from the tension. There is some social commentary here which you can look deeper into. In some ways the message kind of gets muddled and there are some missed opportunities to dive deeper. However, it at least allows room for interpretation instead of spelling out everything for the audience. I do have some issues. The movie is a bit short at an hour 40 minutes and I wish it was a little longer to flesh things out. There are some solid twists which take you off guard, but after the first half, the twists in the second half just weren’t as impactful. The unexpected jumps in the narrative can also cause some issues with the pacing, even though they were helped make things unpredictable. Without spoiling anything there is a bit too much time and scenes dedicated to Justin Long’s character and establishing him in the story. I think they could’ve conveyed all that information in less time, and that probably would’ve helped the film to not feel like it came to a screeching halt when he’s introduced.


The performances from the cast are really good. Georgina Campbell plays the main character and really sells her role really well, conveying her character’s dread. Bill Skarsgard is also good in this, playing the person already in Airbnb. His casting is particularly used to great effect here, especially considering his menacing and villainous roles in other projects. As a result, during his scenes, you are trying to figure out who he is and what his intentions are. Another bit of great casting is Justin Long, who was a real stand out. Right from his first scene he is shown to be selfish and unlikable but Long plays it very well, and is the source of much of the comedy.


Zach Cregger’s direction was great, this is his solo writing and directing debut. This one location and setting is conveyed really well, and the parts in the basement look very creepy and unnerving. The camerawork and cinematography are outstanding, from the movements (goes handheld when necessary) to the choice of lens (fisheye at some points). Finally, the score by Anna Drubich is eerie and adds to the atmosphere and tone.

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Barbarian is a great, suspenseful, entertaining, and well crafted horror movie, phenomenally directed, with surprising humour, and great performances from Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgard and Justin Long. Its one of the best horror movies of the year and well worth checking out (but is best going into it blind).