We said it once. We’ll say it, again. Keanu Reeves is the ultimate action star. You might shake your head and rattle off Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Wesley Snipes, and Arnold Schwarzenegger as options in one breath, but hear us out. Reeves can literally take on any role. Not only does he actually study Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but he’s done his own stunts and fights using everything from his bare hands to a sword… and a surfboard. He’s played Tai Chi masters, gunslingers, and… whatever TF you want to call Neo. Reeves is a total badass and you’ll never convince us otherwise.
What makes his badassery even more impressive? Knowing he’s a truly amazing, kind guy. He can laugh at himself. He’s attentive and generous to his fans. And Reeves is, without a doubt, the most laid-back guy in Hollywood. What’s not to love about that? Reeves is our favorite actor. But, what is our favorite of his roles? We thought we’d break it down for you. If you’ve missed out on any of the movies on this list, we implore you: Find them. Watch them. Love them. Talk to us about them. Have a beef with our selections? Or even just our general love for Keanu? Let’s hear it. We’re ready to rumble.
Keanu Reeve’s Best Action Roles
Neo — The Matrix
Sure, Neo can dodge bullets. But, he also outsmarted the computer system none of the other human brains could do. So, yeah, pretty rad.
Johnny Utah — Point Break
There is a lot to scoff at about this cheesy classic, but there’s even more to love. (As with all cheesy classics, right?) You can’t claim you’re a fan of Reeves or film in general, really, if you haven’t seen Point Break. Can you fend off a bad guy with a surfboard?
Jack Traven — Speed
Speed may not be the world’s greatest film. And the then-high-tech maneuvers the police took to outsmart the bad guy seem laughable to us now. But so help us, that movie put Reeves on the map as an action hero star. TL:DR, there would be no Reeves in the Matrix without Reeves in Speed.
Kai — 47 Ronin
If you aren’t a fan of Samurai films, you may not like 47 Ronin. We get it. But, Reeves is, once again, a BAMF, and this time he rocks a sword. His character, Kai, is a warrior who helps lead a group of outcast samurai on their road to revenge.
John Wick — John Wick
No one likes a movie where the dog dies. Everyone loves a man seeking revenge for his murdered dog, though. That’s exactly who John Wick is and, of course, we love it.
Donaka Mark — Man of Tai Chi
True story: Reeves didn’t even know Tai Chi when making this film. His Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills, however, made him seem at ease in his role and with the martial art.
Other Awesome Roles From Keanu Reeves
Duke Kaboom — Toy Story 4
Keanu Reeves wasn’t physically in this animated film, but he voiced the toy Duke Kaboom. The action figure is based on a 1970s Canadian daredevil/stuntman. Duke Caboom is confident and tough, but haunted by his past failures. He’s somewhat of an airhead, but his heart is always in the right place and here’s there for the other toys when they need him most. Caboom also has a kick-ass catchphrase: “Yes, I Canada.” It’s not a role many would expect Keanu to play, but he delivers a hilarious performance that’s unforgettable.
Keanu — Keanu
Everything about this gangster kitty is adorable and the movie itself is downright silly. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, though, we got to hear Keanu the cat’s thoughts… narrated by Keanu the human. The fact Reeves was willing to take part in such a goofy movie only made us love him more.
John Constantine — Constantine
Once you’ve witnessed hell, how hard would you work to avoid going there? John Constantine works pretty damn hard.
Ted — Bill & Ted
We don’t seriously need to tell you why the Bill & Ted is franchise totally awesome, do we?
Johnny Mnemonic — Johnny Mnemonic
Johnny has a memory card implanted in him and his head is full of much-desired information. If he doesn’t upload it fast enough, he’ll meet his doom. You know, assuming he isn’t kidnapped and possibly murdered by the competing entities who also want the information in his head.
“Himself” — Always Be My Maybe
Reeves is known for being the more laidback and kind guy in Hollywood. If you have a Keanu Reeves story, it’s going to be a good one. That made his appearance in the Netflix rom-com, Always Be My Maybe, all the more fun to watch. Reeves played a crunchy, douchey version of himself.