John Wick Chapter 4’s Scott Adkins Plays The Bad Boss At The End Of The Video Game

This post contains spoilers for "John Wick: Chapter 4."

In "John Wick: Chapter 4," Chad Stahelski's latest, bonkers action spectacle, the titular assassin (played by Keanu Reeves) needs to find a way to request a duel on behalf of a crime family, but his excommunicado status requires him to jump through several hoops. A deal with the Ruska Roma leads John straight to German High Table senior member Killa (Scott Adkins), whose menacing presence immediately reinvigorates an already-thrilling saga of brutal revenge and possible redemption.

Adkins plays Killa with a sense of larger-than-life smug villainy while sitting behind a table and dealing the hand in an absurd, "Casino Royale"-esque poker game that is set to determine John's fate. In a startling declaration of power and control, Killa's little poker game further underlines John's status in a world where all the strings are pulled by the High Table overlords: Anyone who dares to question or subvert the status quo is fated to lose.

Like a ruthless final crime boss at the end of a "Yakuza" video game, Killa emerges as the greatest threat to John Wick, as the mafia boss engages in a unique fighting style that incorporates mixed-martial arts and the brutality of a hardened, unpredictable killer. This, combined with the hellscape aesthetics of Killa's waterfall-flanked nightclub leads to an unforgettable fight sequence that involves a great many tumbles from heights and brute force kicks and punches by a formidable crime boss who regards even the most violent scenarios with sick glee. Interestingly, the ridiculous, over-the-top nature of Killa's villainy might have come off as too goofy in any other action setting but works perfectly in favor of the film's hyper-violent, hyperreal world, which often mimics the mechanics of a video game.

The Final Boss

Final bosses in video games, especially ones with a crime-underworld setting, are notoriously difficult to defeat. Killa reminds me of Masato Aizawa, the last of the final bosses in "Yakuza 5," whose fighting style relies entirely on brute force as opposed to a learned technique or fighting style. This makes the final battle especially unpredictable for Kiriyu, who is beaten up in ground-and-pound attacks and thrown across the room like a rag doll. John's fate is similar to that of Kiriyu, as the world's most-wanted hitman has to alternate between taking down Killa's men amid throngs of gyrating clubbers and contending with the crime boss' indomitable strength even after John slices a part of his neck with a rather sharp poker card.

Adkins' transformation into Killa is replete with golden grills, a goofy hairstyle, and a bodysuit with facial prosthetics, and the character is a homage to gangster boss Wong Po (played by Sammo Hung) in Wilson Yip's "SPL: Kill Zone" which stars Donnie Yen as Inspector Ma Kwun. Stahelski has expressed his admiration for Yip's film, which explains the inspiration behind putting Killa in a purple suit, which Po is seen wearing during the final boss fight where he hurls Donnie Yen's character through the window, killing him instantly. 

Although John fares better in his fight against Killa, he is brutally punched and rudely thrown off the club's balcony, after which he lands directly under pressurized water. Killa, being the relentless thug he is, immediately sends out his men to hunt down John, while also taking it upon himself to wrestle and kick John into submission whenever the opportunity presents itself. Now that's a final boss you should watch out for, as he can rapidly deplete your XP the moment you pause for a breather.

There's More To Killa Than Brute Force

All hell breaks loose in the nightclub after the fighting commences, but the most chilling aspect of Killa's presence is the scene with the rigged poker game that precedes it. Like any well-written video game boss, Killa's dynamic with the protagonist drips with thinly-veiled nefarious intent and measured menace, as he proceeds to intimidate John with words and a show of gross power-play.

The involvement of Caine (a brilliant Donnie Yen) and Mr. Nobody (Shamier Anderson) heightens the stakes of the situation, as their individual interests in killing John directly conflict with that of Killa, who represents the High Table. Owing to his position on the Table, and his status as a once-feared assassin with a dangerous reputation, Killa plays a prolonged, meandering game to assert his authority over everyone involved in the situation.

This kind of conversation-centered stage-setting that amps into a full-fledged fight is a staple tactic used in video game final boss fights, such as the ones in "True Crime: Streets of LA" and "Mafia: The Definitive Edition." Although Killa is more of a wild card in "John Wick: Chapter 4" and does not share a history with John in any capacity, the stakes of their lengthy showdown feel as urgent and visceral as any boss fight. While John's obstinate determination to fight through all kinds of hell generally grants him an advantage over most situations, Killa's equally defiant refusal to lose or be killed poses a very serious threat to John's chances of honoring his deal with the Ruska Roma.

Thankfully, Killa's reign of terror is brought to an abrupt end after his skull is cracked open after a nasty fall, which allows John Wick to accelerate toward the fateful duel at the end of the film.

Read this next: 23 Movies Like John Wick That Will Get Your Adrenaline Pumping

The post John Wick Chapter 4's Scott Adkins Plays The Bad Boss At The End of The Video Game appeared first on /Film.

Older Post Newer Post