Catching Up With...Keanu Reeves
We watch five films we've never seen before from legendary actor Keanu Reeves
There is no doubting this man's legend status. He's an action hero, a heartthrob and all round nice guy. Let alone the fact he's a fantastic actor.
The name Keanu literally means: 'cool breeze over the mountains'; and that he is. The man exudes professionalism and excellence, he's like a posh chocolate dipped in gold. But of course he had to start somewhere. After a few stage gigs and a handful of TV-film jobs, he landed a role in the Rob Lowe starring movie Youngblood. He then moved to Hollywood, performing in River's Edge and the Oscar nominated Dangerous Liaisons. It wasn't until 1989 though that people started to know Keanu's name, when he appeared as Bill or Ted in Excellent Adventure. For a while Reeves was referred to as his character from that film, and although he rose to success in the 90's, he still couldn't leave his doofus-comedy alter ego behind, forever lodged in his pocket.
Flash forward 30 years and Reeves returned to the role for a legacy sequel that, although didn't satisfy critics, did scratch an itch that fans had needed itching for three decades. On the way to that sequel came Point Break, Speed, Constantine, John Wick, The Devil's Advocate and of course, The Matrix among so much more.
Keanu was a big budget Hollywood star by the time The Matrix came his way, and working on the full trilogy with the Wachowski Sisters meant he could begin to split his time between the mainstream cinema and Indie passion projects. Now Keanu wasn't just Bill or Ted (honestly at this point we could just look it up) but he was also Neo, Johnny Utah and Jack Traven.
In the past few years we've had more Keanu than ever, and he is a household name even more than he was before; not only as an actor but as a role model, his own fighting stunt man, and as a charitable, generous soul.
When you've brought as many legends to life as Keanu has, you yourself deserve the legend status.
Actor: Keanu Reeves
Early Jobs: Ice Skate Sharpener, Pasta Shop Manager
Breakout Film: Youngblood
Feature Film Credits: 71 (check below to see where he ranks amongst other actors)
Academy Award Nominations: 0
FILM 1 - John Wick: Chapter 2
Now TV / Sky Cinema
There is no doubting the impressive level of acting in these films. Keanu does a lot of his own fight choreography and the film is all the better for it. You're engrossed by the sequence and not looking out for editing mishaps, you can tell that it's him. ★★★
FILM 2 - Bill & Ted Face the Music
Rent or Buy
This film is so odd. And it's meant to be of course but it's odd in ways I don't want it to be! I understand why Keanu and Alex Winter would say yes to this nostalgia-filled legacy sequel, but it's just all a bit obnoxious and doesn't quite hit the mark. ★★
FILM 3 - Street Kings
Disney+ / Amazon Prime
Corrupt! This is a decently played action crime film but no-one is likeable. You're meant to root for Keanu's character but he's openly racist. It's not firing on all cylinders but is full of good performances and a fine level of tension. ★★★
FILM 4 - John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
Amazon Prime Video
This one ups the stakes and ups the filmmaking. It looks stunning and although sometimes things feel a little thin, there are so many cool Keanu moments (see him riding a horse) that you just get whisked away in the mayhem. I will forever be confused by Keanu's clearly intentional 2D performance as Wick, but it works. ★★★★
FILM 5 - John Wick: Chapter 4
For me, this is the best of the franchise. It's 2 hours 40 minutes long which is a bit ridiculous but every single set piece (which there are a lot of) is delivered uniquely and more outrageously than the last. Keanu proves that he is one of the best action heroes working today. ★★★★
Only one of the films watched for this blog made it on the Top 5. but there is no denying that is a terrific list of films. Keanu has played a man, has played a myth and has played a legend too; and he himself is all three of those things. This man is not running out of momentum any time soon. Let's see what comes next!
John Wick: Chapter 4 in select cinemas now
Legend Status (based on feature film appearances):
Nicolas Cage - 105
Keanu Reeves - 71
Sigourney Weaver - 65
Al Pacino - 52
Sandra Bullock - 50
Brendan Fraser - 49
Bradley Cooper - 46