John Wick 4 Ending Explained – Does John Wick survive the finale?

John Wick 4 Plot Synopsis

The story wastes no time picking up where we left off from Chapter 3. With the price on his head increasing, John Wick struggles to find a way out of his nightmare, constantly hunted by assassins. Eventually he turns his attention to the High Table itself, seeking out the most powerful players in the underworld in order to find peace and escape.

Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done when the Marquis is hot on his trail, acting as the face for the High Table, and desperate to take Wick down no matter what. Unfortunately, that also includes hiring two men to his cause – one (Caine) doing so to protect his family, and the other (Mr Nobody) doing so to score a big payday. With two deadly assassins and a host of goons in between, is this one fight too many for John Wick?


Who is Caine? What does he want?

Donnie Yen makes his debut in John Wick Chapter 4, and it’s immediately clear that he’s not messing about. Caine was one of Wick’s old friends and, presumably, came close to besting him one time (given the dialogue he and the Marquis share during their initial meeting).

As a result, the Marquis convinces Caine to work with him again, despite the latter being retired, offering to protect (or kill) Caine’s daughter depending on what his next move is. Caine’s almost an anti-hero in this respect, doing what he must to protect his loved ones, even if it means going through John Wick. We learn late on that he willingly gave up his eyes for the cause too, so he’s certainly no stranger to making a hard decision for the greater good.

The Marquis calls on his talents only after Wick has destroyed The Elder (and his replacement), setting up a war with the High Table. As Wick goes on the run, Caine gives chase, leading to some breathtaking fight sequences featuring the pair until we reach the final act of the movie.


Who is the Tracker? What is his motivation?

A wildcard entry in John Wick 4 comes from the Tracker, who goes by the name of “Mr Nobody” for much of the run-time. Armed with a trusty book of Wick’s exploits and his faithful canine, Tracker is an excellent bounty hunter – but will only act for the right price. And that price appears to be $50 million, or at least a sum that comes close to that.

After coming face to face with Wick in Osaka, Mr Nobody tracks him to Berlin and, eventually, Paris, where the final confrontation takes place.

Mr Nobody twists the Marquis’ hand into giving up $40 million to kill John Wick, occurring mere hours before the final showdown with Caine at sunrise (more on that in a minute).

During John’s fight with the assassins inside an abandoned house, we get one of the most exhilarating and jaw-droppingly action scene in recent history. The camera elevates, points down, and shows a top-down one-shot sequence as John Wick blasts his way through rounds of enemies throughout the building. The camera rotates, the bodies continue to pile up, and all the while Mr Nobody approaches.

Mr Nobody eventually squares off against John, and as the pair engage in a tense shootout across the building, Mr Nobody is eventually bested. John decides not to pull the trigger though, as he notices Chidi (the Marquis’ right-hand man) about to harm the Tracker’s dog. Of course, this is what started the whole ordeal back in the first film, so John wastes no time pumping the guy full of bullets and watching as he topples over the balcony.

Mr Nobody is shocked, and as a result decides against killing John, given he saved his pride and joy. And in fact, ends up helping John toward the latter parts of the story.

The Tracker is an intriguing character in this respect, as the love he has for his dog mirroring that of John Wick’s devotion. Mr Nobody does get his revenge against Chidi during the stairwell fight (more on that in a minute) after Chidi throws Tracker’s dog into a car window during an earlier breathless fight in Paris.


What happens at the Sacré Coeu stairwell?

After fighting his way through numerous goons, John Wick finally makes it to The Sacré Coeur. 222 steps separate him from the movie’s climax. Oh, and a “few” of the Marquis’ hand-picked goons too.

Wick does well to make it most of the way up but unfortunately a rejuvenated Chidi returns and proceeds to kick Wick all the way down to the bottom. For those interested to know, Wick’s stunt performer, Vincent Bouillon, actually did this for real on his second try, giving an amazing amount of realism and credibility to this scene, which was filmed on location too!

At the bottom of the stairs, Caine shows up and helps Wick to his feet, telling him he needs to make it to the top. Of course, for Caine there’s a lot riding on this showdown. If he wins, the Marquis has promised that he and his daughter will be free to live in peace. If Wick wins, he’ll be the one to gain peace. Either way, the pair make it all the way up, with the Tracker helping to turn the tables and lending a helping hand.

Mr Nobody shows up and dispatches Chidi, telling him “you hurt my puppy” before hitting the kill shot. Oh, and his dog urinates on the man’s face for good measure. After, the pair head to the top and watch the shootout take place.


Who wins the shootout?

John Wick and Caine both make it to the church in enough time to see the beautiful sunrise. The pair begin their shootout, first at 30 paces, then 20 and eventually 10. In the end, after several tense minutes, Caine ends up winning the shootout as he hits Wick in the stomach and bests his opponent. With Wick badly injured and downed, the Marquis grants Caine’s freedom and decides he should be the one to hit the Coup de grâce, wanting all the glory without putting in the hard graft. However, there’s a problem.

Wick hasn’t fired his last shot and still has a bullet left. John Wick shoots the Marquis, gaining his own freedom, as per the stipulations of the shootout. There’s a lovely bit of foreshadowing with this involving the Marquis earlier in the movie, with Harbinger telling him that his ambition could get him killed (I’m paraphrasing but that’s basically what he said)

Harbinger declares both Caine and Wick are free, while the High Table also sees fit to rebuild Winston’s empire after it was destroyed during the opening of the movie. While Caine heads off to find his girl, and Tracker chuckles incredulously and leaves, presumably to find his next hit, John is left alone to bleed out on the steps he’s just climbed so desperately.


Is John Wick really dead?

It’s here where John passes out, remembering his wife and presumably dying. The scene then cuts to Winston and the Bowery King together at John’s grave, which has the words “loving husband” engraved on, which is precisely what John requested in the Parisian subway.

They joke about whether John is in Heaven or Hell, but Winston remains cagey about the answer. We never see Wick’s body, nor do we see his burial either. It would well be that this is a placeholder designed to make sure the High Table don’t have second thoughts and decide to try and find him. The cryptic chatter about Heaven and Hell could be more to do with what Wick is currently doing rather than outright discussing the afterlife.

Given John Wick 4 and 5 were supposed to be shooting back to back, and then were subsequently scrapped, could this be an indication that there’s more going on here than we’re being led to believe.

Caine was forced back into action against his will by the High Table so it makes sense for him to properly go off-grid and live somewhere no one will find him (ala. Bourne Supremacy with Jason Bourne).

Then again, Wick could be properly dead this time. Winston is back to resuming New York operations, while Bowery King now has John’s new dog, so it could be a new beginning for everyone. Only time will tell.


Is there a post-credit scene?

There is indeed! One of the plot points in the movie that’s never resolved involves Caine and Koji Shimazu. The latter, who was the manager of the Continental Hotel in Osaka, is Akira’s father, bested by Caine in combat while Akira watched on. Her father died in her arms, so Akira has a big score to settle with the blind man.

Vowing revenge, Caine told the young woman to “live” earlier in the movie when she attempted to pick up a sword. As she was injured, Akira conceded to live to fight another day and walked away, promising to get revenge later on.

With all that in mind, Caine is on his way to visit his daughter for the first time in years as the post-credit scene begins. As he approaches her, a woman shows up in the crowd brandishing a knife. It’s Akira. She’s making good on her promise to kill Caine… but we fade to black before we see what happens.

 

Read More: John Wick 4 Movie Review


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