Last week, John Wick: Chapter 4 finally hit theaters after much anticipation. Both audiences and critics have been lauding the action-packed movie, which features Keanu Reeves once again portraying the eponymous assassin.
One aspect that has captured fans' attention is the film's extensive runtime, which runs for an impressive two hours and 49 minutes including credits.
According to a recent report from the Wall Street Journal, this feat is made all the more remarkable by the fact that Reeves' character only utters a total of 380 words throughout the entire film.
The publication noted, "As the John Wick movies sprawled in length, they got stingier with the main character's dialogue.
"In the first installment, clocking in at 101 minutes, Mr. Reeves said a total of 484 words."
"With a run time of 169 minutes, the fourth movie pushes three hours but features just 380 words by Wick."
The trailer for the movie features approximately 10 percent of these words, giving the impression that the typically silent protagonist is quite talkative, according to the article.
It is no small feat to convey so much with so few words, but the 58-year-old actor managed to do so with finesse, maintaining the enigmatic charisma that the character is known for.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, director Chad Stahelski revealed that it was Reeves who took the initiative to reduce his character's dialogue, cutting roughly half of the lines written for him in the initial script.
Stahelski also pointed out a scene in which Wick and the villainous Marquis de Gramont (played by Bill Skarsgård) discuss a duel.
The director explained that the initial script called for a "50-50 exchange of dialogue" between the two characters, but Reeves insisted on reducing it to the bare minimum, with his character using only the words "pistols" and "no quarter."
Reeves' longest uninterrupted line in the film is: "You and I left a good life behind a long time ago, my friend."
Co-writer Michael Finch commented on Reeves' dedication to minimal dialogue, saying, "It's a shock when you work with him how dedicated he is to not speaking."
Rather than relying on verbose monologues, Stahelski described how Reeves opted to communicate meaning through body language and subtle facial expressions.
"He isn't just stoic," he said, adding: "He's mysterious, and the mystery lets the audience fill in the gaps."
Despite the minimal dialogue, audiences seem to agree that John Wick: Chapter 4 is a must-see film, particularly for the breathtaking action scenes that Keanu Reeves trained intensively for.
The latest installment in the franchise has been lauded as a "masterpiece of action cinema" and has already broken box office records, grossing $73.5 million during its opening weekend.
If you haven't had the opportunity to watch it yet, the film is currently showing in cinemas.