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John Wick: Chapter 4 puts one of our greatest action heroes in a giant prosthetic suit

No, not Keanu — but we hope they get to fight

John Wick walks towards the camera in front of a green cloudy haze as two figures stand in the background by a lamppost in John Wick: Chapter 4 Photo: Murray Close/Lionsgate
Joshua Rivera (he/him) is an entertainment and culture journalist specializing in film, TV, and video game criticism, the latest stop in a decade-plus career as a critic.

The John Wick movies are a stuntman’s franchise. Directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch are legendary stunt performers and coordinators, and one of the joys of their movies getting bigger with each installment is seeing Stahelski (who now directs the films solo) fold in more and more action pros from around the world, like Mark Dacascos of Wu Assassins fame or The Raid’s Yayan Ruhian. John Wick: Chapter 4 continues this tradition, notably with Hong Kong star Donnie Yen and the king of direct-to-video action himself, Scott Adkins — but like we’ve never seen him before.

Scott Adkins is normally seen doing insanely athletic kicks. He has the sort of physique you might expect from someone who must convincingly portray action heroes who can knock someone’s lights out with his shins. Here he is simultaneously disabling an enemy and pressing a button in 2020’s Max Cloud:

Scott Adkins, in a blue jumpsuit, disables an enemy while kick-activating a button on the wall in Max Cloud Photo: Well Go USA

Here, on the other hand, is how he will appear as “Killa” in John Wick: Chapter 4.

Scott Adkins, in a large prosthetic suit, flashes a tobacco-stained grin while sitting at a desk with a deck of cards in his hand and a stack of gold coins by his side. Image: Lionsgate

Adkins is playing against type here in a way that feels a lot like Colin Farrell’s Penguin in The Batmanand previous Adkins movies like Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday show off the action star’s willingness to have fun while kicking ass.

Regardless of how much pain Adkins dishes out (or doesn’t!) as Killa, John Wick: Chapter 4 is Adkins’ highest-profile role to date. It may be a lot of people’s first exposure to him. What a kick they’re gonna get out of seeing what he’s usually up to, once they dig into his back catalog.

John Wick: Chapter 4 is in theaters March 24.

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