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Spotlight On The Stars: Keanu Reeves

No movie star is quite like Keanu Reeves. An A-lister who has a trio of franchises to his name, all of which have become or are in the process of becoming trilogies, he walks between worlds with ease. An action hero, but also a part of a beloved comedy franchise, Reeves doesn’t fit into any one particular box. With the release this weekend of John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, now seemed like a perfect time to look at the actor. Reeves is a big star in Hollywood, though one who doesn’t do things quite like anyone else. He very much follows the beat of his own drummer. It’s certainly worked for him, as this spotlight today will highlight.

Reeves got his start on television, though he quickly made the jump to film with Youngblood. Soon after came River’s Edge, along with his first high profile movie in Dangerous Liaisons. His breakthrough would then arrive in 1989 with Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure as well as Parenthood. Reeves was on the public’s radar. 1991 made him a star, as the sequel Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey paired with My Own Private Idaho and Point Break to form arguably the best year of Reeve’s career, or at the very least of the first act of his career. It was only onward and upward from there for him.

From there, it was some big projects like Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The Devil’s Advocate, Much Ado About Nothing, and Speed, though it was The Matrix that put him on a whole new level. The role of Neo, initially pegged for Will Smith, launched Reeves into the stratosphere. Interestingly, though he made two sequels in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, it did not lead him to just mindlessly dive into Hollywood epics. Reeves remained just as likely to make smaller movies like A Scanner Darkly or Thumbsucker as he was to do Constantine or The Day The Earth Stood Still. He even re-teamed with his Speed costar Sandra Bullock for The Lake House.

Since then, Reeves has continued to mix and match his projects, though he stumbled into another franchise with John Wick, which turned into John Wick: Chapter 2. Along with those action romps, he remained on the indie scene with Generation Um…, Knock Knock, The Neon Demon, To The Bone, and so on. Later on this year, he’ll go the animation route as he lends a voice to the hotly anticipated Toy Story 4 as well as play Theodore “Ted” Logan again in Bill and Ted Face The Music. Simply put, no one with his stature is making choices like Reeves is. He follows unique impulses, to say the least.

Reeves stars this week in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, the potential conclusion to his John Wick series. Per IMDb: “Super-assassin John Wick is on the run after killing a member of the international assassin’s guild, and with a $14 million price tag on his head – he is the target of hit men and women everywhere.” Reeves again plays the title character, with supporting players including Halle Berry, Mark Dacascos, Asia Kate Dillon, Laurence Fishburne, Anjelica Huston, Ian McShane, Lance Reddick, and more. In the director’s chair once again is Chad Stahelski, while the team of Marc Abrams, Chris Collins, Shay Hatten, and Derek Kolstad wrote the script. Tyler Bates and Joel J. Richard composed the score, while cinematography is by Dan Laustsen. For Reeves, it could be one of his biggest non Matrix hits yet, both commercially and critically.

Overall, Keanu Reeves is a unique A-lister, as mentioned above. He does things his own way, with interests that are different than your average movie star in Hollywood. His films stand out in one form or another, for better or worse. Hot off of the John Wick franchise, the future is bright for Reeves, especially as he gets set for one more run with Bill and Ted. Stay tuned for more on Reeves in the future, as he’s arguably only going to become a bigger star in the years to come. Following his heart is clearly working out for the man, that’s for sure…

Be sure to check out Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, in theaters on Friday, as well as Reeves’ other 2019 outings like Bill and Ted Face The Music as well as Toy Story 4!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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