Joһn Wiсk 4 Inсludes A Steаltһ Remаke Of A 44-Yeаr-Old Cult Clаssiс Aсtion Movie (Tһаt It Cаn’t Beаt)

One sequence in John Wick 4 features a stealth remake of a 44-year-old cult classic action movie — a great ode that proves the original can’t be beat.

Keanu Reeves in John Wick 4 collage with main antagonists

Summary

  • John Wick 4 pays homage to the cult-classic action film The Warriors with a memorable broadcast sequence.
  • The John Wick franchise’s distinct approach, including intricate underworld mythology and expertly choreographed action, sets it apart from other contemporary genre films, but helps it reference the classics.
  • While the homage to The Warriors in John Wick 4 is entertaining, it doesn’t surpass the main plot of the 1979 film.

During one memorable sequence, John Wick 4 features a “stealth remake” of a 44-year-old, cult-classic action movie — one that still can’t be beat even four decades after its debut. Like its beloved predecessors, John Wick: Chapter 4 is a neo-noir action thriller that stars Keanu Reeves in the titular role. In the first film, Wick, who’s grieving the recent loss of his wife, is drawn back into the criminal underworld when mobsters murder his dog. In subsequent John Wick chapters, the revenge-driven hitman fulfills blood oaths and goes on the run after a steep bounty is placed on his head.

All of these action-packed threads culminate in John Wick 4, which sees the aging action hero exacting vengeance against the High Table — a threatening council of twelve crime lords. Apart from the John Wick movies’ unique timeline, the films are also successful because of their distinct approach. Unlike other genre films, the franchise spins a unique web of criminal underworld mythology, replete with rules and rituals. Moreover, John Wick trades the rapid cuts and closeup shots popularized by the Jason Bourne flicks for single-take, expertly choreographed action sequences. Needless to say, all of this helps John Wick 4 reference a classic action film from 1979.

How John Wick 4 Becomes A Part-Remake Of The Warriors

Cast of the Warriors walks down a street

In John Wick 4, the titular hitman sets out to kill the members of the High Table, starting with the Elder — “the one who sits above the Table.” Wick’s actions trigger a massive response from the council, which is flush with the resources and numbers to take him down. Despite the massive bounty on his head, John doesn’t back down. The Marquis (Bill Skarsgård) serves as the primary antagonist: he wields extraordinary power, even for a council member. Ahead of John Wick 4‘s ending, John challenges the Marquis to a duel — only for the Marquis to raise John’s bounty just before the contest.

The John Wick spinoff film Ballerina is set to be released in 2024.

In a very deliberate reference to The Warriors, a mysterious, Parisian radio DJ broadcasts the new bounty to every assassin in the City of Light (via YouTube). This extended sequence shows various hitmen, including John Wick 4‘s Mr. Nobody, hearing the broadcast and readying their numbers to claim the bounty. Afterward, John fights his way through hordes of would-be assassins. It’s a clear reference to The Warriors, which sees its titular gang fighting their way from the Bronx to Coney Island after being falsely accused of assassinating a gang leader. In the 1979 film, a mysterious DJ also broadcasts the hit before things devolve into an all-out brawl.

John Wick 4 Isn’t Actually As Good As The Warriors

Keanu Reeves in John Wick Chapter 4 in a blurred action shot

For action-thriller film fans, John Wick: Chapter 4‘s ode to The Warriors is a fun nod. Although exhilarating, the John Wick 4 sequence is just that — a moment in a larger film. The Warriors remains unmatched because the radio DJ’s announcement kicks off the main thrust of the film: The Warriors have to battle tons of gangs on their way back to Brooklyn. Undoubtedly, it’s challenging to compare the crux of one film to a singular sequence in another. John Wick 4‘s thrilling broadcast moment isn’t as good as The Warriors‘ plot, though the homage was never actually meant to eclipse the cult-classic film anyway.

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