‘JFK’ and ‘Natural Born Killers’ director Oliver Stone has revealed he’s not a fan of ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’, citing a strong distaste for the video game-like physics and violence on display .
The Oscar-winning director, producer and screenwriter served as an infantryman in the Vietnam War, with those wartime experiences inspiring many of his works, including his iconic films “Platoon” and “Born of the Fourth of July.”
Speaking to Variety, Stone spoke about the pop culture-focused franchises of modern cinema and cited ‘John Wick 4’ as an example of the problem – namely the lack of realism and impact in terms of on-screen violence. .
He goes on to explain that this isn’t just a problem with the “John Wick” movies, but also with many other movies these days, citing everything from Marvel movies to the “Fast and the Furious” franchise:
I saw ‘John Wick 4’ on the plane. Talk about volume. I think the movie is disgusting beyond belief. Disgusting. I don’t know what people think.
Maybe I watched ‘GI Joe’ as a kid. But [Keanu Reeves] kills, what, three, four hundred people in the f—— movie. And as a combat veteran, I have to tell you that none of them are believable. I know it’s a movie, but it became more of a video game than a movie.
His lost touch with reality. The public may love video games. But I’m bored. How many cars can crash? How many stunts can you do? What is the difference between “Fast and Furious” and another movie?
It’s just one thing after another. Whether it’s a superhuman Marvel character or just a human being like John Wick makes no difference. It’s not believable.
The “John Wick” films are set in a heightened fantasy version of our present – a world filled with a not exactly underground society of assassins who engage in massive gunfights in major public places with little or no no repercussions.
Plus, all are decked out in fancy costumes that go beyond just being bulletproof – they make bullets about as ineffective as dried rice. The result is plenty of elegant and often inventive choreographed fights, but the lack of realism is presented as something that limits any real stakes for the film’s characters.
Stone himself is certainly familiar with issues of on-screen violence. His “Natural Born Killers” was one of the most controversial and violent films of the time, with Stone himself being accused of glorifying violence.