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Watch Keanu Reeves and Donnie Yen Battle in ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’ | Anatomy of a Scene

NYT, 31 Mar 2023
“John Wick: Chapter 4” takes a variety of martial arts styles, adds a dash of Sergio Leone and Akira Kurosawa and puts them all in a blender.

The film, which has more than a dozen major action set pieces, scales back a bit (but not too much) in this confrontation between John Wick (Keanu Reeves) and the blind assassin Caine (Donnie Yen), an old acquaintance who has been sent to kill John.

Narrating the scene, Chad Stahelski, the director of all four “John Wick” movies, discusses working with his actors.

“Donnie Yen is an amazing martial arts performer,” he said. “But on top of that, he’s also, even after having such a long career, he’s still incredibly fast, almost too fast.”

It was important to Stahelski to make sure Caine was a worthy challenger, but also ensure that it seemed like John Wick had a chance against him.

“That’s why you see John hiding behind things and always trying to get away from Caine.”

The sequence merges some kung fu with gunplay, hand-to-hand combat and swordplay to come up with action that keeps both performers on their toes.

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