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Keanu Reeves Heavily Trimmed His Own Dialogue In John Wick 4 - And It Was The Right Choice

Just under four years exactly since its predecessor arrived at the movies, the fan-upsetting "John Wick: Chapter 4" is finally here. From fans to critics, the long-awaited, full-throttle action thrill ride hasn't disappointed many who've gone out to see it. Yet again, Keanu Reeves doesn't hold back as the titular assassin, putting in the legwork to make each action sequence as memorable as the last. Although, one can't help but notice that Mr. Wick is light on dialogue in this sequel, which is apparently thanks to Reeves himself trimming down the character's line count.

As broken down by The Wall Street Journal, in the 169 total minutes of "John Wick: Chapter 4," the character only says 380 words. Compare that to the 101-minute first movie, where he says 484, and it's clear that Wick is becoming far less interested in making conversation. Reeves, alongside director Chad Stahelski, was responsible for many of Wick's lines getting cut, even in pivotal scenes. For instance, Wick's meeting with Marquis de Gramont (Bill Skarsgård) initially saw him taking up roughly 50% of the scene's dialogue, but in the final film, he only lets out a small handful of brief responses.

Bearing in mind how well the final product turned out, the "John Wick: Chapter 4" team made a lot of correct decisions throughout the production process. Cutting out massive chunks of Wick's dialogue is undoubtedly among them.

Actions speak louder than words for John Wick

In the pantheon of great action heroes, John Wick is a bit different from the rest. He's not virtually invincible, he doesn't take time to flex his inhumanly-large muscles, and he certainly isn't a talker. While he has spoken more in previous "John Wick" movies, he has never been one for long, drawn-out dialogue sequences or snappy comebacks. The most you get out of him is a quote like "Yeah, I'm thinking I'm back," or the "Matrix" callback that he needs "Guns, lots of guns," and that's just fine. Besides, in all honestly, "John Wick" movies are all about the action anyway.

There's no doubt that the story behind the "John Wick" franchise is strong and that the lore has become increasingly deep. At the same time, when folks buy a ticket to these features, they do so because they wanna see the Baba Yaga tear through low-level criminals and engage in astonishing fights with skilled assassins. After all, one of the hallmarks of the "John Wick" saga has been its use of gun-fu: a practical cinematic fighting style that blends hand-to-hand combat with the strategic use of firearms. To put it simply, John Wick's actions speak much louder than his words, so why waste time having him talk when that time could instead be spent on hard-hitting action?

Fans think the physicality of Wick makes him the perfect character for Reeves

In all of the "John Wick" installments, the lead character has been surrounded by folks capable of doing the heavy lifting dialogue-wise. The likes of Winston (Ian McShane) and the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne) became key players in the series for their ability to help the narrative along through their words. Of course, this isn't to say that Keanu Reeves needs other actors to help him along. He's an immensely talented actor on his own merits. At the same time, many moviegoers agree he's better suited for physically-demanding roles than dialogue-heavy ones.

In a Reddit thread by u/Suitable-River-4245, users of the platform stopped by to give their two cents on Reeves' strengths and weaknesses as an actor. "He betrays little with a line of dialogue, but nobody puts on a tie quite like Keanu Reeves can," commented u/MoMoeMoais, adding that the John Wick character plays to his strengths: limited dialogue, extensive physicality. u/C4TERW4L agreed, admitting that Reeves may have a limited range as an actor, but he's one of the best when it comes to the highly-specific art of standing in front of a camera and looking cool.

You can go see Keanu Reeves stand in front of the camera and look cool right now since "John Wick: Chapter 4" is currently in theaters everywhere.