Hiroyuki Sanada’s swordsmanship is a work of art.

By: Izumi Hasegawa   April 22, 2023

“John Wick” is a movie franchise where, with each new installment of the series, shooting scenes are added, and the violence grows.  In the fourth installment, Hiroyuki Sanada and Donnie Yen are invited into the series, reaching further heights of the action genre by including the use of Japanese swords and Bōjutsu skills.

Photo by Murray Close © 2021 Lionsgate

Keanu Reeves, who plays John Wick, a perfectly suited role following “The Matrix” series, speaks little during interviews or talk shows. Because this character is similarly succinct, it fits his personality well, and he again sends out joking self-deprecating lines here and there, entertaining the audience even outside of the action.

Photo by Murray Close © 2021 Lionsgate

Kung Fu movie star Donnie Yen is a welcome addition for fans. The action is at the same exuberant speed as seen in the movie that made him famous, “Once upon a Time in China II,” as well as his come-back film, the “IP Man” series. In this film as well, the action is performed at a pace so fast it is hard to catch, as he adeptly uses these skills to play a blind assassin, knocking out opponents one after the other.

Photo by Izumi Hasegawa / Hollywood News Wire Inc.

Hiroyuki Sanada is the only Japanese actor that can compete with Keanu or Donnie. A Japanese-born action star, Sanada’s swordsmanship is truly awe-inspiring. It is graceful and powerful. His movements, both agile and sturdy, are truly beautiful to behold. Also, whenever he appears in a scene, the mood becomes tense, heightening the sense of drama. Even though this is a film full of surreal spectacles, Sanada’s scenes are very realistic.

Photo by Murray Close © 2021 Lionsgate

Rina Sawayama, who was born in Japan and raised in the UK, has an equal presence alongside the veteran action stars Keanu, Donnie, and Sanada. Having already established her status as a musician, she makes her debut as an actress in this film. Like many musicians, because Rina has ample experience appearing in her own music videos, she didn’t feel nervous in front of the camera, but it’s unfortunate that her performance occasionally showed glimpses of her trying too hard? Was it the direction she was given? In any case, expectations are high for her future success, a tall figure with a confident attitude and action bursting with women’s empowerment, upending the image of a Japanese woman.


Photo by Murray Close © 2021 Lionsgate

John Wick: Chapter 4

The forth work in the series. Legendary assassin John Wick travels the world to overthrow the High Table in order to gain freedom. After John visits his old friend Koji, manager of the Osaka Continental Hotel, assassins and bounty hunters are sent by High Table, appearing one after the other, beginning with Caine, a fellow killer and friend.


English translation by Nora Rowan / Hollywood News Wire Inc.