Okay, so it’s no secret that I have crazy love for Keanu Reeves. Yes, I know he’s not a good actor, but there’s always been something about him that’s struck me as earnest and down to earth, and I kinda like that. Plus, for someone who doesn’t have that much talent, he seems to work the best he can with what he’s got.
Mr. Reeves has made some excellent movie choices and he’s made some absolutely rotten ones. So, without further ado? Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly that Keanu Reeves has made.
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure – The role Keanu’s probably best known for is probably the one he hates the most. How many brains has Ted Logan been burned into now? Sure, it’s not a bastion of haute cinema, but Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is a gift that keeps on giving. It’s one of my favorite movies of all time; it’s instantly quotable; it was eighty kinds of fun. It’s still fun, and Reeves’ portrayal of the pleasant yet dumb Ted, who wanted nothing more in life than to rock out as a member of Wyld Stallyns, is so endearing, how can you not love him?
The Matrix – That Neo exclamation of “Whoaaa” really captured us, didn’t it? Well, the whole stopping bullets and being “The One” thing helped too, but the Wachowski brothers’ movie about a dystopian society battling the machines solidified Keanu’s place in film history, that’s for sure. Aside from the almost universally despised sequels, the first Matrix shocked the everloving hell out of everyone and really, didn’t everyone want to see Keanu Reeves just kick ass and take names some more after seeing this?
Speed – Here Reeves played the uber-brave, “I always get my man” kind of SWAT dude by the name of Jack Traven. Sure, Speed wasn’t the best movie ever made, but Bruckheimer and Bay have essentially been riffing off of Speed and creating variations thereof for years, right? And we liked Sandra and Keanu together. Dennis Hopper’s bad guy Howard Payne is quoted muchly amongst my older sister and I when we’re together, mainly because no one delivers lines quite like Crazy Dennis Hopper. (Pass the ether, please?) It was fun and the epitome of the popcorn movie, and I can tell you that Older Sister and I have probably both watched this millions of times, primarily for Keanu Reeves’ Arms, which should’ve had a movie of their own. (Seriously. Damn. The man had smokin’ arms in this one.)
Point Break – Keanu’s an FBI agent, and he’s not going to let you forget that. I mean, I can understand how Point Break has it’s good points (because I love it, I’m not going to lie) but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. When your entire movie rests on the shoulders of Gary “I’m On Crack” Busey and Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze has to seriously shore up the movie as one of the main bad dude surfers, you have a problem. Bonus points for hilarious, unintentional comedy between Busey and Reeves. This is why Keanu Reeves needs a good director. No offense, Director of Point Break.
A Walk In The Clouds – Okay, this movie was so bad, I don’t remember that much of it. I remember I saw it because, well, Keanu Reeves was in it. I remember there was a lot of awkwardness, a pregnant chick, some forced and stilted dialogue, and wasn’t there something about stomping grapes in there, too? Or was that Captain Corelli’s Mandolin? Oh my god, no one should ever confuse your movie with Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. That alone is a pretty big “oh, no” kind of signal, but I remember when this movie came out there was a lot of pointing and laughing and snorting at Keanu’s expense. Oh, Keanu.
Chain Reaction – Y’all, Keanu Reeves played a science researcher. That’s right, deep breaths and laugh it out. I mean, it was a forgettable science-action thriller of the early to mid nineties, but Keanu Reeves as a science researcher? Are you joking with me? Who decided on that as being believable? Come on, I love the man, but we all know he’s been smoking something for years that will not allow him to correctly spell things like “depleted uranium”. Gimme a break.
Youngblood – Keanu (very early on in his career) played a hockey goalie in this Rob Lowe tour de force. Did you know that Reeves actually was a hockey goalie before becoming an actor? He was. This movie’s not awful because of Keanu Reeves. It’s mainly awful because of the terrible script, the cliches and eye rolling worth crap contained in the movie, the combined suckitude of Rob Lowe and apparently a consistently drunk Patrick Swayze, but Keanu certainly didn’t help matters any.
Johnny Mnemonic – Okay, I love this movie. It’s certified 100% 1,416 and Counting Movie Crack, for sure. But god, is this movie terrible. I mean, the special effects are horrible, the dialogue is awful and Keanu’s delivery makes it really, really laughable (literally). It always shocks me that Dina Meyer still finds work as an actress because she is that terrible (who else would be in Starship Troopers and Bats, in an unironic way). Henry Rollins is in this, which I imagine took him years to live down, for God’s sake. Let me put it to you this way: the fate of humanity comes to rest on Ice-T, Keanu Reeves, Dina Meyer and a goddamn dolphin. Yes, a DOLPHIN. Who can hack the Internets, or something. No, I wasn’t on drugs when I watched this. That really is the plot.
The Devil’s Advocate – Hey, does anyone remember a time when Al Pacino played another character besides Al Pacino? I mean, Pacino’s schtick gets old, fast. And haha, he’s playing THE DEVIL! Keanu Reeves’ Southern accent is suitably atrocious, and poor Keanu looked so lost and confused throughout the entire thing. Even Charlize Theron looked like she had no clue what to do. It’s a miserable little movie, one that is wholly unfulfilling and doesn’t give you much to work with in the end. And it certainly doesn’t help that half the movie it feels like Reeves is begging Al Pacino to help him carry the movie and all Al can do is make with the crazy eyes and say, “Look at me, I’m Al Pacino!” A god awful movie, for sure, but one that’s not even god awful enough to mock or be good-bad; it’s just awful.