Canada’s Finest: Our Top Five Keanu Reeves Movies

“Choice, the problem is choice.”

There’s a lot of possible reasons why Keanu Reeves was trending on Twitter last week.  It could be him owning Toy Story 4 as Duke Caboom (“Canada’s Greatest Stuntman”).  It could be the online petition to get him named Time magazine’s Person of the Year, which currently has over 70,000 signatures.  Or it could be because some people only just seem to have realized he’s Canadian. 

Whatever the reason, we thought we’d join the fun, with our pick of Keanu’s five greatest movies.

5. Speed (1994)

This one tends to divide people.  Some think Speed’s a stupid premise, but a great movie.  Others think it’s a great premise and an even greater movie.  You get the perfect balance between “sensitive, emoting Keanu” (A Walk in the Clouds) and “vacant action hero Keanu.” (The Matrix), the on-screen chemistry with Sandra Bullock and Dennis Hopper chewing the scenery.  What’s not to like?

4. A Scanner Darkly (2006)

This one divided the Zeff office (not least because of what it kept off the list).  But just look at it. It looks incredible.  The rotoscope animation gives it a trippy feel that Keanu’s husky voice (and – even animated – that look) fit perfectly.  And it stars Winona Ryder, who – if you believe her – may, in fact, be the accidental Mrs. Reeves.

3. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) 

The movie that really sent Keanu global, before many of us were even born.  And that it’s still so quotable 30 years later proves how great it is.  It’s also notable because – despite Bill and Ted being what you might call classic movie “stoners” – there’s not a hint of cannabis in the film (something some put down to Hollywood toeing the line on the President’s War on Drugs).  Watching it back, some of the sexual politics is a bit ‘dated’ (read problematic), but if you can get past that it’s – well – “Excellent!”

2. The Matrix (1999)

Cool doesn’t even come close.  We could spend two hours just watching Keanu walking around wordlessly in that coat and sunglasses combo.  And that’s before you add in the awesome special effects, the intriguing philosophical premise and a soundtrack that still sounds fresh today. That the sequels were such a letdown only makes the original that much better by comparison.  It even made those weird Nokia banana phones cool for a while.

1. John Wick (2014)

Choosing between this and The Matrix was a near impossible task, but – for simple, visceral and unadulterated fun alone – John Wick just edges it.  It’s been called the movie that kickstarted the “Keanussance.”  But it’s really just a perfect revenge movie.  At 100 minutes, it’s got less fat on it than Keanu himself, and while we don’t condone violence, they all deserved it for what they did to that dog…

What? No Point Break? Seriously?