Weekend film reviews: ‘John Wick: Chapter 4,’ ‘A Good Person,’ more

Written by Amy Ta and Danielle Chiriguayo, produced by Sarah Sweeney

In “John Wick: Chapter 4,” Keanu Reeves returns as John Wick, who is trying to regain his freedom. Credit: YouTube.

The latest film releases include “John Wick: Chapter 4,” “A Good Person,” “Tori and Lokita,” and “The Lost King.” KCRW gets reviews from Christy Lemire, film critic for RogerEbert.com and co-host of the YouTube channel “Breakfast All Day,” and Witney Seibold, contributor to SlashFilm and co-host of the podcast “Critically Acclaimed.”

 “John Wick: Chapter 4”

Keanu Reeves returns as John Wick and Lawrence Fishburne as Bowery King. The famed hitman Wick is trying to regain his freedom and is tasked with doing assassin jobs for various mob bosses globally.

Seibold: “The appeal of that first ‘John Wick’ movie was how trim and simple it was, and how brutal the action was. … Now the mythology has become so complicated that … the movie is now nearly three hours in length. There comes a period near the end of this movie where John Wick has to exit his hiding spot and go to the location of the film's climax. But before we can do that, he has to engage in … three separate lengthy action sequences that take almost 40 minutes of screen time. This one will just numb your butt.

… That said, the action is just as virtuosic as it's always been. A lot of the choreography is really great. There's some really impressive sequences. There was one where we get to see John Wick take out an entire house of bad guys in this bird's eye view shot. 

… There's a nice trim little 95-100-minute movie hiding somewhere inside of this one. But what we got is just overwhelming, and it becomes really ungainly after a while, and you'll leave the theater more exhausted than satisfied.”

A week before the film’s premiere, on March 17, Lance Reddick passed away. The actor reprised his role as Charon.

Lemire: “Throughout the whole franchise, [Lance Reddick] brought just this wonderful elegance and grace, but also a little bit of a twinkle in his eye like he's letting you know that this is all ridiculous. And he plays the concierge at the hotel, which is like the middle ground for all the assassins, the safe space where they're not allowed to kill each other. And he presided over that with great wisdom and this great confidence. And he's excellent here as well.”

“A Good Person”

Written and directed by Zach Braff, Morgan Freeman and Florence Pugh star. Pugh plays a woman who survives a car accident that kills her fiance and soon-to-be sister-in-law. Then she experiences unresolved grief and develops an opioid addiction. She attends AA meetings, where she bonds with the father of her late fiance.

Lemire: “This has a lot of really powerful moments in it, and Florence Pugh can just do it all, and there is such a rawness about her and such an authenticity to her emotions — that even when the movie gets really mock-ish and really unbelievable, she always grounds that and you always feel an emotional truth from her.”

“Tori and Lokita”

A friendship develops between two young African immigrants living in exile in Belgium, where they face tough living condition. The movie is written and directed by brother duo Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. 

Seibold: “‘Tori and Lokita’ is a little bit of a difficult watch, because we do get to see these two children in the act of being discarded and the act of being ignored by the system that they've been thrust into as immigrants. 

Lokita is constantly trying to send money back home to her family and we never see your family. We see the panic rising in her chest and as it does, it happens for the audience as well. But Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne are indeed trying to make a point here — not just about how badly immigrants are treated, but also about how humanity fails them sometimes. And how there's a great deal of compassion, but also a little bit of caution, that we need to take when caring for our fellow human human beings. I admire what they do.” 

Lemire: “Beyond being discarded by the system, they’re actively exploited by the system over and over again. …  It's not total misery, but the fact that there is a glimmer of hope in them both and that's why they're hustling and struggling — makes their fate so much more heartbreaking. A very tough watch, but worthwhile.” 

“The Lost King”

Based on a true story, a writer and amateur historian tries to find King Richard III's long lost remains. Sally Hawkins stars as Phillipa Langley. 

Lemire: “There's a sweetness and a sincerity to the story of Philippa Langley led by Sally Hawkins, who can just show up and just be her radiant self. She has just this uncanny ability to connect. And who she is in the moment all the time feels so true. And so she plays this real woman, Philippa Langley, who was living in Edinburgh, who became fascinated with Richard III. 

… It's a little safe and a little predictable, but comforting. Well-made, well-acted, no great surprises, but a solid piece of filmmaking and an interesting story if you didn't know about this.” 

Seibold: “I did like the understated magical realism elements of this actor following her around and dictating things to her. There's a few cutesy moments where the actor will say something in the presence of another person and she repeats it. But for the most part, it merely plays out in a way that you expect. There's not a whole lot that feels like is at stake with this.”