There’s something very liberating and exciting about seeing John Wick, a lone, solitary figure, find a way to challenge the long-established power governing the film’s sprawling underground assassin world. Not only that, but in the film he canonically inspires others such as Shimazu and Mr. Nobody to work against their own interests for the common good: In this case, helping fight back against the powerful High Table organization.
However, there’s another, much more cynical take on the film’s world, and the more probable conclusion of “John Wick: Chapter 4” after the credits roll. While the “John Wick” films are obviously inspired by action films, spy thrillers, and crime capers, they also arguably have roots in film noir. This means that there’s a dark, cynical undercurrent to the “John Wick” films, and it isn’t as gleefully goofy as its superhero or “Fast and the Furious” contemporaries. Noir doesn’t usually have a happy ending, and often deals with the existential dread of living in inescapable and corrupt systems.
At the end of “John Wick,” while Wick saves Caine’s daughter and finds some sense of relief and peace, the world itself doesn’t seem to have changed much. Winston gets his hotel back, The High Table still exists, and assassins are still lurking in the shadows. Like in the real world, those who are powerful enough will not only get away with anything — no matter how illegal or corrupt — but thrive.