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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Rating Keanu Reeves movies

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ILLUSTRATION: CASEY WOOD ’23/THE HAWK

Listen, I don’t want to act like I’m some kind of Keanu Reeves expert, but I kind of am.

It happened by accident, after a “John Wick” marathon came on TV that I just happened to catch in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. I only saw part of the first movie and knew it was about Reeves’ character John Wick beating the daylights out of bad guys for stealing his car and hurting his dog with cool neon cinematography. What more could I ask for from a movie? 

There was no better way to fill endless hours of quarantine boredom than to watch as many Reeves movies as I could get my hands on. Below, I ranked every one that I watched.  

“John Wick” series (2014): An all-around 7/10 rating, notable for the aforementioned cool neon cinematography and expertly choreographed fight scenes. They detail the story of John Wick (Reeves), a former hitman for the criminal underworld of New York City who is pulled back into the business following the death of his wife. 

I’d say that “John Wick” and “John Wick: Chapter 2”  had strong plots and acting, but “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum,” which came out May 2019, was the weak link. It was not that Reeves’ strong and silent performance disappointed, but the plot was kind of weird, and tied in an unnecessary origin story and ballet side plot. I’d still watch them again, though. I’d give “John Wick” an 8/10, “John Wick: Chapter 2” a 7/10 and “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” a 5/10. 

“The Matrix” (1999): Overall I’d give the series a 5/10. I almost think of these movies as comedies because they’re so corny. The first “Matrix” is legendary. Neo (Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) suit up to save Morpheus in awesome outfits. 

The series is set in the far future, when Neo discovers that the world he’s been living in is a simulation, and that the real Earth was taken over by robots. He teams up with Trinity and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) to liberate the humans from the robots. 

The first movie gets an 8/10, and only gets points off for corniness. “The Matrix Reloaded” and “The Matrix Revolutions” get a 5/10 and a 4/10, respectively. 

Overall, corniness wins over coolness in the sequels, and the plot of both of them isn’t very strong. “The Matrix Reloaded” is worth watching just to see Neo’s outfit, which is a priest cassock without the white collar. I would definitely watch them again and laugh the whole time.

“Destination Wedding” (2018): 7/10 rating. Reeves and Winona Ryder are the only characters in this whole movie, and they play two lovelorn guests at a wedding in California wine country. They’re cynical, they’ve been wronged in love and they don’t even want to be at the wedding. They fall in love, and it’s adorable and corny. I’ve seen it five times since watching it for the first time.

“Point Break” (1991): 10/10 rating. I didn’t watch this for the first time during quarantine, I’ve actually been watching and appreciating it for as long as I can remember. 

It’s quite possibly the best Reeves movie ever made. It’s about FBI agent Johnny Utah (Reeves) trying to bust a gang of surfing bank robbers. It was directed by a woman, Kathryn Bigelow, which makes sense, because only a woman could have made such an absolute masterpiece. There’s surfing, bank-robbing, great denim jackets, dramatic scenes in the rain and Patrick Swayze as a gang leader named Bodhi. I say a line from it at least once a day, usually some dramatic wisdom from Bodhi, and I am on the lookout for a gigantic poster to hang in my room.

This is not every movie Reeves has been in. Binge watching Reeves’ movies during quarantine was worth it. Honestly, it’s debatable if Reeves is a good actor. But what’s not debatable is how compelling his movies are. 

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