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5 Essential Keanu Reeves movies

Writer: Casey Chong


Keanu Reeves in "Exposed".

Following his on-screen collaboration with Ana de Armas in last year's "Knock Knock", Keanu Reeves reunites with the young Cuban actress for the second time in the crime thriller, "Exposed".

Whether it is a cop or a federal agent, Reeves is no stranger to playing a law-enforcer role. After all, we've seen him before in movies like "Point Break" and "Speed" back in the '90s. But this Beirut-born heartthrob is more than just an actor known only for the action or thriller genre. To coincide with the upcoming release of "Exposed", here is a list of five essential movies that Reeves has starred in throughout his career so far.

1. "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures" (1989) and "Bogus Journey" (1991)


The goofy duo of Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves in "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures".

This was the movie that defined the early career of Keanu Reeves. Thanks to the high-concept mix of buddy film and the time-travel genre, "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures" was both fun and entertaining. After all, how could one not enjoy a sci-fi comedy that featured important historical figures such as Napoleon Bonaparte (Terry Camilleri), Billy the Kid (Dan Shor) and Abraham Lincoln (Robert V. Barron)? Of course, most of the movie's success was owed to the unforgettable pairing of Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter as Ted "Theodore" Logan and Bill S. Preston. The equally entertaining "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey" came forth two years later, even though the sequel wasn't as financially successful as the first movie.

2. "Point Break" (1991)


Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze in "Point Break".

Forget about the 2015 remake, because the original "Point Break" remained the real deal. Long before "Blue Crush" (2002) made surfing look remarkable on the big screen, "Point Break" was the epitome of cool that started it all. Thanks to the stylish direction by Kathryn Bigelow, the surfing scene was beautifully shot in such hypnotic slow-motion effect. Then there's Keanu Reeves, who traded his goofy charm of his iconic "Bill & Ted" role to play a reckless FBI agent, Johnny Utah in "Point Break". Back then, who would have thought that Reeves was able to pull off such a role? Yes, he still retained his same surfer-dude expression but he somehow managed to be convincing as an unlikely action hero engaging in fisticuffs and firing a gun.

3. "Speed" (1994)


Keanu Reeves in one of the dramatic scenes in "Speed".

Three years after playing an FBI agent in the cult classic "Point Break", Keanu Reeves returned to the familiar law-enforcer role – this time as a Los Angeles SWAT officer Jack Traven – in "Speed". This high-concept "Die Hard on a Bus" action thriller was a surprise hit back in 1994. The movie, of course, was best remembered for establishing Keanu Reeves' acting career into A-list Hollywood status. On top of that, "Speed" also became a launching point for Reeves' newfound fame as a leading man in the action-movie genre. A sequel entitled "Speed 2: Cruise Control" was released in 1997, but Reeves was smart enough not to return for the ill-fated sequel (a cruise liner, really?). Instead, he made the right choice starring opposite Al Pacino and Charlize Theron during that same year in "The Devil's Advocate".

4. "The Matrix trilogy" (1999-2003)


Stopping bullets is hardly a problem for Keanu Reeves in "The Matrix".

If "Speed" was the launching pad for Keanu Reeves, then "The Matrix" was the quintessential movie that (once again) defined his career into a whole new level. Not only was he was born to play a hacker-turned-freedom fighter, Thomas Anderson a.k.a. Neo, but he also proved to be iconic enough that Reeves was often synonymous to "The Matrix" movie. The first "Matrix" movie was a groundbreaking sci-fi genre that blended cyberpunk, Chinese kungfu and manga allusions. "The Matrix" was also a triumph in the technical department, particularly for its ultra-stylish action sequences and then-innovative (but now-overused) "bullet-time" effect. Two more sequels – "The Matrix Reloaded" and "The Matrix Revolutions" – followed, but none of them managed to match or surpass the sheer originality of the first movie.

5. "John Wick" (2014)


Keanu Reeves means business when comes to revenge in "John Wick".

Following his enormously successful role in "The Matrix" trilogy, Keanu Reeves quickly became one of the most sought-after superstars in Hollywood. Over the next few years, he appeared in different movie genres such as comic book ("Constantine"), romance ("The Lake House") and crime ("Street Kings"). But none of his post-"Matrix" movies were as critically acclaimed or financially successful as before. It was not until the year 2014 when he finally managed to revive his flagging career via "John Wick". A low-budget action thriller directed by a pair of first-time directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, "John Wick" marked a return-to-form for Reeves. His role as a titular vengeful ex-hitman was a hit among critics and audiences. Besides, he was fun to watch for especially the way he dispatched all the bad guys with his precise gunfire skill of an expert marksman. A sequel is currently in-production.

"Exposed" opens in cinemas nationwide on 21 January 2016.

Cinema Online, 18 January 2016

Related Movies:
Exposed (21 Jan 2016)
John Wick (06 Nov 2014)
Knock Knock (08 Oct 2015)
Point Break (03 Dec 2015)

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