Happy Birthday Keanu
September 2nd is a very special day. In fact, I think it is a crime that is isn’t an international holiday. It is Keanu Reeves’ birthday. Keanu Reeves is a sensation, and one of the most widely adored humans on planet earth. Quite right, too. Despite his tumultuous life, he remains a beacon of wholesome positivity, light, and goodness in an industry that seems all too ready to surrender these virtues. I’ll try and keep a lid on my irrepressible adoration for the person who can only be described as the pinnacle of human males (oops, the lid fell off), so instead of anthologies on how much I love Keanu, Reeves let’s look at a few of our favourite movies!
The Matrix (1999)
The Matrix is undoubtedly one of the most iconic sci-fi/action movies of all time. Not only that, but is also revolutionised a genre with its flexing of those sweet CGI skills. Neo (Reeves) is a hacker who must battle his way through The Matrix – an expansive AI system using humans for energy. Morpheus, our head honcho, believes Neo is The One (honestly, same), and that he can bring the system down to usher in a new age of freedom. Tiny glasses, boss trench coats, ridiculous special effects, and some of the best lines and scenes in cinematic history meant that The Matrix couldn’t be less than The One. The most elegant, stylish, and effortlessly cool film of its genre…even twenty years later. Woah.
Point Break (1991)
I won’t take criticism about this inclusion, Point Break is a classic (and it beat out Speed to get onto this list, a decision I stand by firmly). Johnny Utah (Reeves) is an FBI agent who must head undercover in California to infiltrate a group of bank robbers…who are also surfers. Obviously. Add into this Patrick Swayze, who plays Bodhi, head of the gang, and Point Break is everything great about the early 90s on a surfboard. The end? Ridiculous but weirdly heart-wrenching. Totally tubular, bro.
John Wick (2014-2019)
I’m not picking just one, sorry, you;re having the lot.
Keanu Reeves? In a suit? With dogs? Good lord, these films are a gift. Reeves’ titular character is an ex-hitman back in business to hunt down the people that ruined his life. The plots aren’t revolutionary, but the way they are filmed certainly is. Bathe my action movies in a neon city-scape soup and I am chuffed. Fresh, sleek, and inordinately stylish, the John Wick movies proved that you can teach an old dog new tricks, and holy smokes will he look spectacular doing them.
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
A little less serious than our other entries, don’t get me wrong but what can I say? I am a total sucker for a dorky doofus of a rocker wannabe, and a history nerd. With their grades slipping and their band breaking up, hope seems lost for Bill and Ted. That is, until an Emissary from the Future comes to take them back in time to meet all the famous figures they have been learning about. The very definition of a feel good film, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure is a film for the ages…really, like, all of them.
My Own Private Idaho (1991)
My Own Private Idaho is Gus Van Sant’s riff on a Shakespearean classic (Henry IV pt. I and II, and Henry V, to be exact). Mike (River Phoenix) and Scott (Reeves) are street hustlers who embark upon a deeply personal journey together through Idaho to Italy in search of Mike’s mother. The thing that is most beautiful about this film, however, is the genuine and profound connection between Reeves and Phoenix. The two were incredibly close friends before Phoenix’s untimely death in 1993, and their chemistry and genuine love for one another is almost tangible through the screen. This film is a little piece of art that owns a good portion of my heart.
In short, Keanu Reeves is a treasure we don’t deserve. One of those actors who is amazing, but has a real mixed bag of films under their belt, in my eyes he can do no wrong. Even The Lake House. Happy birthday, Keanu. You’re breathtaking.