Keanu Reeves has been a mainstay of Hollywood since the late-80s. In that time he has starred in everything from period dramas to sci-fi epics with varying levels of success. Throughout his career Reeves has picked projects that have defined eras and changed the way that films were made.
This week see the release of his latest, John Wick 3, so here we pick our top five Keanu Reeves film.
5. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
1989’s Bill & Ted was Reeves first breakout hit and defined the cinema going public’s perception of him. He played the totally rad dude Ted ‘Theodore’ Logan with a wide-eyed innocence and naivety so convincingly that people just assumed that was his real life persona and it’s an image that he has never been able to shack. The quirky time travel comedy quickly became part of pop culture spawning an animated series and a sequel with a third film due next year.
4. John Wick
Everyone knows that Keanu knows kung-fu but as expert assassin John Wick we see him mowing down thugs left, right and centre using gun-fu. On a quest the avenging his dog (don’t worry, the story is a little bit deeper than that) the stylised, balletic gun play Reeves uses in this film has revitalised action cinema using smooth, visible action and moving away from the shaky-cam Bourne style. The third film is the series, due out this week has received the best reviews of the trilogy.
Reeves had his first legitimate blockbuster with Speed. In a post ‘Die Hard’ world this bomb on a bus film was the best of the imitators. Directed by Jan De Bont, Die Hard’s cinematographer, from a script that was polished by Joss Whedon, it was Keanu’s chemistry with co-star Sandra Bullock that made this film a crowd pleaser. Reeves quite rightly turned down an offer to reprise his role but he would later reteam with Bullock for ‘The Lake House’
2. The Matrix
‘The Matrix’ was a game changing film. In 1999 ‘The Phantom Menace’ was meant to be the movie that reinvented cinema but it was ‘The Matrix’ that had everyone talking. It is one on the most stylised films ever shot and with it’s ‘bullet time’ effects delivered something that had never been seen before. Playing Neo, a computer virus Jesus, Reeves fully plays up to his ‘whoa dude’ persona and delivers one of the best kung-fu performances in western cinema. Just don’t mention the sequels.
1. Point Break
Kathryn Bigelow’s ‘Point Break’ has Keanu’s first foray into action cinema and he hasn’t looked back. The story is nothing new, an undercover cop starts to sympathise with his target, but the way it was shot and the performances make the film shine. The cast learnt to surf and did a lot of their own stunts which added a realism to the action that had rarely been seen up to this point. ‘Point Break’ may not have got a sequel but it’s influence lives on. The film was virtually remade as ‘The Fast And The Furious’ which is now one of the biggest franchises on all time and if rumours are to be believed Reeves will soon be joining this series.
What’s you favourite Keanu Reeves film? Comment below.