Keanu Charles Reeves is a Canadian actor, author, director and musician. Reeves, who turns a year older on September 2, began acting in theatre and television before making a name in mainstream films.
Most of Reeves’ career he has been typecast as the “saving the world" character, the recurring arc role of an action hero. This helped Reeves gain recognition, and garnered critical and commercial success. Global stardom followed with his lead role in the science-fiction thriller The Matrix, a commercial success which won four Academy Awards. Besides acting, his other endeavours are playing the bass guitar, writing and philanthropy.
On his 55th birthday, let’s take a look at five of his films he did at the beginning of his career:
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
With Bill and Ted came Reeves’ breakthrough introducing him to a wide audience. The 1989 comedy and even the 1992 sequel was fun with Reeves and Alex Winter making for an enigmatic duo. Reeves plays dim-witted teen Ted ‘Theodore’ Logan, in this silly comedy film who uses a time machine to collect historical figures along with his friend, Bill S. Preston (Alex Winter).
Point Break (1991)
The original Point Break directed by Kathryn Bigelow remains a superior heist picture. Reeves as an undercover FBI agent received some of his best career reviews for the buddy-cop thriller. Set in the world of surfing, Reeves probes a trail of bank robbers. It is arguably Reeves’ first successful action thriller which is remembered for its excellent action sequences involving skydiving and chases.
Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
Reeves was cast as the bad guy Don John alongside some Oscar-winning company (Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Denzel Washington). Based on Shakespeare's famed romantic comedy of the same name, Reeves in Branagh’s delightful romantic romp exudes enough menace. The rom-com went on to become one of the most financially successful Shakespeare movies ever released.
Reeves made an unlikely choice when he went for this one however, Speed curved Keanu Reeves into a big action star. An L.A. cop by the name Jack Traven is desperate to save passengers on a local bus that is rigged and is to explode if it slows down below 50 mph. An adrenaline shot from start-to-finish, it was a huge box office hit and the genre became a classic. It was Speed, why Reeves accomplished hits like The Matrix or John Wick in future.
The Devil's Advocate (1997)
The 1997 supernatural horror film was directed by Taylor Hackford and based on Andrew Neiderman's novel of the same name. Reeves plays an unusually successful young Florida lawyer who lands in NYC to work for a major firm. How his wife’s frightening visual phenomena makes him realize the firm’s owner is, in fact, the Devil in the guise of a human lawyer, is what unfolds later in the story. The Devil's Advocate was credited by critics for its entertainment value and performances. It won the Saturn Award for Best Horror Film.