The John Wick Series Sizzles Out with Chapter Four

“Off the floor, on the board.” Those were the words of ​​announcer Gary Thorne during Game 6 of the 2003 Stanley Cup Final. Halfway through the second period, lifelong thug and New Jersey Devils forward Scott Stevens almost killed the Anaheim Ducks’ Paul Kariya in open ice before 17,174 spectators. A late hit and arguably a charge (also a penalty), Stevens makes direct and primary contact with Kariya’s head: you don’t have to know hockey to understand that’s not cool. He laid cold on the ice, in a moment that would likely now call for an emergency stretcher. There’s a good argument Stevens should have been legally charged with assault. 

But, as any fan of hockey knows, Kariya returns to the game just minutes later and scores, sealing the Game 6 victory. 

That 2003 Cup Final has a lot in common with the filmmaking of Chad Stahleski and Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 4. The horrifying spectacle of the hit, the ability of Kariya to completely body the ugly head contact—including the dubious medical ethics that enabled Kariya’s return—and the good-guy triumphs over the big-bad ending is basically the modus operandi of the Wickfranchise, especially in the latest John Wick: Chapter 4. To extend my metaphor, in this case Stahleski and Reeves all but ask the viewer to appreciate not only Kariya’s perseverance and skill but also Stevens’s physicality and power. 

Continue reading at the Boston Hassle.

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