Actors’ Spotlight #52: Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves 2014.jpg

Keanu Charles Reeves (born September 2, 1964) is an American-Canadian actor, producer, and musician. Reeves is best known for his acting career, beginning in 1985 and spanning more than three decades. He gained fame for his starring role performances in several blockbuster films including comedies from the Bill and Ted franchise (1989–1991), action thrillers Point Break (1991) and Speed (1994), and the science fiction-action trilogy The Matrix (1999–2003). He has also appeared in dramatic films such as Dangerous Liaisons (1988), My Own Private Idaho (1991), and Little Buddha (1993), as well as the romantic horror Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992).

Since becoming active in the film industry, Reeves’ abilities have earned critical acclaim. One New York Times critic praised Reeves’ versatility, saying that he “displays considerable discipline and range. He moves easily between the buttoned-down demeanor that suits a police procedural story and the loose-jointed manner of his comic roles.” However, Reeves has spent much of his later career being typecast. A recurring character arc in many roles he has portrayed is one of saving the world, as can be seen in the characters of Ted Logan, Buddha, Neo, Johnny Mnemonic, John Constantine, and Klaatu. His acting has garnered several awards including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

During his film career, Reeves has engaged in several forms of artistic expression. Active as a musician for a decade, he played bass guitar for the bands Dogstar and Becky. Acting onstage, he performed as Prince Hamlet for the Manitoba Theatre Centre’s production of Hamlet. He wrote the text for a picture book, Ode to Happiness, illustrated by Alexandra Grant. He has also produced a documentary, Side by Side, and directed the martial arts film Man of Tai Chi.

Many have a mixed reaction to Reeves as an actor, sometimes he can be really good in a movie and other times, not so much. Where was him at his best, here’s 5 of Reeves at his absolute best:

5. John Wick

When watching the trailers for this, I thought this was going to be yet another trainwreck for Keanu Reeves but much to my surprise after watching the film, I was actually very surprised by how much I enjoyed the film. It’s a return to form for Keanu Reeves from his days of Speed with a lot of great action, a great mix of practical and CG effects, and self-awareness on its’ plot and over the top action. It’s a great action movie that I think has the potential to become a great action franchise if they can keep up on this track.

4. A Scanner Darkly

Stylistic impressive, well told story, great direction by Richard Linklater with really nice animation, a great underrated movie.

3. Point Break

Or as most people call it ‘Fast & The Furious before Fast & The Furious’ and that’s pretty much what it is, but it’s still a great action movie, Reeves and Patrick Swayze working off each other really well and some really excellent action scenes.

2. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

One of the stupidest and yet one of the smartest comedies ever made, very much in tone with Wayne’s World but in a good way, lots of funny moments, a great tongue-in-cheek script, great cast, Reeves and Alex Winter working off each other brilliantly with George Carlin giving a great role. It’s a fun movie.

and the #1 best Keanu Reeves movie is…


A slick fun over the top action movie with Reeves showcasing his good acting abilities along with Sandra Bullock, Dennis Hopper, and Jeff Daniels.

And then, you have Reeves when he’s not giving his best work, these are five of Keanu Reeves at his worst:

5. The Watcher

Co-star Keanu Reeves has stated that he was not interested in the script but was forced into doing the film when a friend forged his signature on a contract…that should tell you how bad this movie is. Another reason, this was dumped on Labor Day Weekend in 2000 and directed by somebody who has not directed a feature since.

4. Sweet November

One of the dumbest romantic dramas ever made, terrible acting, terrible direction, terrible script, it’s just a mess of a movie.

3. 47 Ronin

A special effects disaster, nothing about this movie makes no sense at all, the visuals are all over the place, the acting is terrible, the script is bad, it’s just bad and the fact that Universal said “hey, you want $175 million for this? Go right ahead,” they had to know this was going to be bad but what do you expect, this is the same company that greenlit RIPD, another shitty high budgeted movie that came out in 2013.

2. The Day The Earth Stood Still

A lame remake to one of the greatest science fiction movies of all time wasted with an all-star cast, a good director, and forced to deal with a shitty script that makes this one of the biggest cashgrabs of all time.

and the #1 worst Keanu Reeves movie is…

The Matrix Revolutions

Oh, Matrix, you had a good thing going in 1999, so why did in 2003 did you have to fuck up your goodwill? I’m not even talking about Matrix Reloaded, which was decent, but Matrix Revoltuions…in the words of Stewie from Family Guy, “WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU WACHOWSKI BROTHERS THINKING?”

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Posted in Actors' Spotlight

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