If you, like me, were a child of the ’90s, then I don’t need to explain to you just how significant Keanu Reeves was. He went on excellent journeys, he saved buses from Dennis Hopper, oh and he saved the human race from the machines. No big deal. But there’s no denying that as of late, he hasn’t been setting the world on fire. Outside of women (some even naked) breaking into his home, he’s been out of the spotlight following a slew of box office disasters. But Keanu (since Point Break, we’ve been on a first name basis) isn’t a sprinter, he’s a marathon legend and I’m more than ready for the world to rediscover this laidback badassery.
Like most people, I first knew Keanu as the loveable yet dim-witted member of Wild Stallions from San Dimas High. In Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Reeves was much like Johnny Depp in Platoon: holding down a role he was clearly sleepwalking through, but put in his time as a cog in the Hollywood machine. And obviously making telephone booths as cool as DeLoreans.
As the ’90s went underway, Keanu quickly became an incredibly capable action star who could deliver hokey lines with the bravado of Kurt Russell in every John Carpenter film. With Speed, Point Break and Chain Reaction Keanu somehow made so many absurd scenes appear not so ridiculous with a natural presence and an every-man delivery. C’mon, when he shot into the air instead of clipping Swayze in Point Break, the bromance was born.
Then came The Matrix and Keanu was a bona fide household name. Neo will be forever revered and mocked in cinematic circles and although those films did not age well, they were gamechangers in their own right.
Since then, Reeves’ career has admittedly meandered. He’s made some fun choices (Thumbsucker, A Scanner Darkly), some lame choices (Man of Tai Chi, 47 Ronin) and some downright terrible choices (Generation Um… — my personal choice for worst title to every make it down the pipe). But there’s some (hopefully) good news! Keanu is returning to the genre and roles for which we was always meant to be play: cheesy action films.
On Oct. 24, we’ll all get to meet John Wick — Keanu’s latest role as a former hitman out for revenge. From the trailer, it appears the death of a puppy drives him out of retirement (seriously), and what follows consists of classic cars, ham-handed one-liners, and swaying stripper booties. So… prepare for the Keannaisance.