Why is ‘John Wick’ more satisfying than ‘Star Wars’ now?

“John Wick: Chapter 4” may be almost three hours long, but that doesn’t seem to limit enthusiasm for the film. In the latest installment of the action franchise, Keanu Reeves once again fights his way to the top of the High Table – and to the top of the box office.

Less than a decade after the first installment sent the retired hitman back to work to avenge his dead dog, the actor, at 58, is still enjoying a second wave of movie stardom. Enthusiasm for the “John Wick” series stands out: a notable contrast to the current woes of the “Star Wars” franchise as interest in the series wanes. Meanwhile, the Marvel Cinematic Universe faces similar challenges, as highlighted this week by the departure of longtime executive Victoria Alonso.

What gives? How did a violent and hyper-stylized martial arts franchise end up more satisfying than Disney’s biggest IP?

On this week’s episode of Screen Talk, Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson discuss the new release in light of the challenges facing other studio products. Not content to focus solely on the biggest releases, however, this week’s episode also features some of the smaller films opening this month: the Dardenne brothers’ Tori and Lokita and the Sundance winner One Thousand and One.

Watch the full episode above or listen below.

Screen Talk is produced by Azwan Badruzaman, available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify, and hosted by Megaphone. Browse previous details here, subscribe hereand be sure to let us know if you’d like to hear the hosts tackle specific issues in future editions of Screen Talk.

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