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John Wick Chapter 4 ENDING EXPLAINED

John Wick Chapter 4 Ending Explained

John Wick: Chapter 4 has been teased by filmmaker Chad Stahelski as the last in the current plan, with him having said, “In our minds, Keanu and I are done for the moment.” Fans have taken this comment and speculated as to what it means. Does John Wick die? Or does he finally reign victorious against the High Table? Now that the movie has been released, we finally know our answer.

If it isn’t obvious, the rest of this article contains massive spoilers for John Wick: Chapter 4.

John Wick: Chapter 4 is the epic conclusion of the John Wick saga — at least for now — as our favorite hitman (played by Keanu Reeves) concludes his quest for vengeance against the High Table, the organization that governs the secret society of contract killers in which the franchise is set. Throughout the film, we follow John as he remains on the run from the High Table and their band of militarized assassins.

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Keanu Reeves as John Wick and Donnie Yen as Caine in John Wick 4. Photo Credit: Murray Close

Midway through the film, John finally finds his way out: he is to challenge the Marquis de Gramont (Bill Skarsgård) to a duel in combat to the death. However, to do so, he must regain his status with the Ruska Roma crime syndicate — with which he severed his ties in Parabellum — which creates our second act and culminates in an awesome battle with action star Scott Adkins in heavy prosthetics. After that, we are on our way to the climactic finale of the franchise: the duel to the death.

Also Read: John Wick: Chapter 4 Review – A Bad Movie With Fun Action

Of course, in true John Wick fashion, the duel can’t be as simple as a straightforward stand-off. Starting to fear that John Wick may reign triumphant in the duel, the Marquis attempts to thwart our hero by upping the price on the contract on John’s head and siccing every assassin within the city of Paris on Wick in an attempt to kill him before he even gets the chance to be victorious in the duel.

To no one’s surprise, John overcomes all of the forces that attempted to prevent him from reaching the duel, where he engages in a standoff with the Marquis’s proxy, his friend-turned-enemy-turned-pseudo-ally Caine (the legendary martial artist Donnie Yen). After a few rounds in which both John and Caine graze each other with their bullets, Caine shoots John to a point where he is injured and laying on the ground.

In his ego, the Marquis wishes to execute John himself, so he takes the gun from Caine. As he prepares to shoot John, Winston (Ian McShane) informs him that John had not fired his gun in the previous round, meaning that it remained loaded and John was deceiving him. John shoots the Marquis in the head, killing him and finally freeing himself from his debt to the High Table. 

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Keanu Reeves as John Wick in John Wick: Chapter 4. Photo Credit: Murray Close

However, the wounds he received during the duel with Caine proved to be fatal, as when John descends the steps that he had to fight upwards to reach the duel, he collapses and dies in peace, remembering the reason he had embarked on this fight in the first place: his late wife. It’s a bittersweet ending, serving as a wonderful conclusion to the film’s emotional arc. We then see Winston and the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) attend John’s funeral, where he is buried next to his wife.

Although this seems like a pretty definitive conclusion to the franchise, it does leave the door open to potential sequels should Reeves and Stahelski decide they want to return to the franchise. As of now, it seems as if he has actually died. Still, there is the possibility that John has faked his death in an attempt to truly exit the world of the assassins, and if there is enough fan demand, a reason could surely be found to have him come back from the dead and don the iconic suit again. 

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Donnie Yen as Caine, Bill Skarsgård as Marquis, and Marko Zaror as Chidi in John Wick: Chapter 4. Photo Credit: Murray Close

This ending also presumably sets up the upcoming spin-off television series, The Continental. As part of the terms of Wick winning the duel, Winston was restored with his duties as the manager of the Continental Hotel in New York City. This means that we may get to see Winston come back in a cameo or supporting role in that show.

What do you think? Is this the perfect conclusion to the John Wick saga? Or do you think John faked his death and is still alive, opening the door for Keanu Reeves to come back for another sequel. Let us know in the comments below!

Also Read: Keanu Reeves is Leaving $587 Million John Wick Franchise After Chapter 4? The Action Star Gives an Exciting Update on His Future

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Written by Sean Boelman

Film Critic and member of the CACF.