Ranking Every Keanu Reeves Action Movie Worst To Best

Ranking Every Keanu Reeves Action Movie Worst To Best


When Speed was released in 1994, an action
star was born. Since then, Keanu Reeves has appeared in a
number of action movies that have put his abilities to good use. Some of them are stone-cold classics, while
others… aren’t. Here’s every one of Reeves’ action movies,
ranked worst to best. Based on the William Gibson cyberpunk novel
of the same name, 1995’s Johnny Mnemonic follows the story of a man with a cybernetic brain
implant that helps him store information. As is the standard for Gibson novels, humanity’s
reliance on technology and the dystopian corporate environment of this future keep people in
a kind of endless servitude. Reeves stars in the title role, with supporting
performances from Dolph Lundgren and Ice-T. Sadly, Johnny Mnemonic’s premise just isn’t
exciting to watch, despite the action being pretty heavy. As Johnny tries to recover his own childhood
memories that have been replaced by years of data smuggling, the main conflict loses
tangibility, and no amount of action is enough to make us care about his plight. Johnny Mnemonic is basically a guy running
around a sci-fi future trying to remember something he forgot, which doesn’t exactly
make for a great cinematic experience. 47 Ronin was one of the biggest box office
bombs of 2013. The overly-ambitious project reportedly fell
victim to a constantly-shifting focus in production and a lack of experience on the part of first-time
director Carl Rinsch. There was also a debate around the project
about the balance between Eastern themes and a perceived need for “more Western touches.” One of those Western touches was the addition
of Reeves to a mostly Japanese cast of the film, which retells an old legend about 47
rogue samurai avenging the death of their master. What really brought 47 Ronin down was that,
despite its well-choreographed fight scenes and slick use of 3D and CGI special effects,
the movie was surprisingly dull, with little to no development from Reeves or any of the
other one-dimensional characters. But don’t worry — Reeves did go on to make
another martial arts movie in 2013 that turned out much, much better than 47 Ronin. We’ll get there. 1996’s Chain Reaction, starring Keanu Reeves
and Morgan Freeman, suffers simply from being confusing. Reeves stars as a machinist who discovers
some new convoluted thing about hydrogen energy — before his lab explodes and he and his
colleague are framed for the bombing. Freeman plays the wealthy doctor funding their
project, to whom they turn for help, though of course he turns out — perhaps inevitably
— to be the bad guy. But much like Johnny Mnemonic, Chain Reaction
has no tether for the audience to grasp onto for stabilization. Reeves’ character is framed for something
that isn’t clear, while Freeman’s character is after something that never really becomes
clear, either. It’s a mess of a movie whose only saving graces
are a few good action sequences. There were a lot of these formulaic action
movies in the ’90s — ones that all had something to do with science or government or spies. Unfortunately, Chain Reaction wasn’t one of
the good ones. The final film in the Wachowskis’ Matrix trilogy
has the benefit of bringing the epic story to a close, granting it the opportunity to
provide a rousing climax and closure to its philosophical journey. Sadly, that didn’t save it from receiving
the worst reviews of the series, largely because it sucks pretty much all the fun out of the
entire franchise. Not only does Revolutions end on a downer
of a conclusion — with Trinity killed in action and Neo sacrificing himself for peace
between the humans and the machines — but the final showdown turned out pretty underwhelming
in itself. The program known as Agent Smith, played brilliantly
by Hugo Weaving, wants to destroy the Matrix, the machine world, and the human world, for
reasons that never really become totally clear — other than that he’s a broken outcast
and wants revenge. A rogue virus, Agent Smith was apparently
supposed to be deactivated, but has instead decided to make it his goal to kill literally
everybody. “It was your life that taught me the purpose
of all life. The purpose of life is to end.” In amongst all this, the characters we know
and care about kind of get lost in a jumble of side characters, overwhelming robot battle
sequences, and convoluted plotlines. The Matrix movies can always be proud of their
seriously cool action scenes and intriguing ideas, but this one was a bit of a bummer. Constantine is one of those movies that should
have been really cool, but just didn’t live up to its potential. Based on DC Comics’ Hellblazer books, Constantine
tells the story of a mortal human who can see the celestial angels and demons who infiltrate
and manipulate humanity. Rachel Weisz co-stars as a police detective
whose sister’s death reveals a plot that upsets the balance between the living and the dead. The movie’s got a great cast, including
an androgynous Archangel Gabriel played by Tilda Swinton, and some of the fight scenes
are really fun, too. But ultimately, the plot isn’t one that translates
particularly well onto the screen. As a result, the movie is simultaneously convoluted
and predictable. Roger Ebert gave the film one-and-a-half stars,
while his TV co-host Richard Roeper wrote: “It’s just so awful that the crew must have
been snickering.” While 1999’s The Matrix was hailed as an exciting
new entry into the sci-fi genre with groundbreaking filmmaking techniques, its two sequels weren’t
nearly as well-received as that first hit. The two Matrix sequels weren’t great mainly
because, much like too many others films these days, they felt like they should have been
a single movie — but the plot had expanded and bloated to the point where the powers
that be decided two would be more exciting for audiences. The second movie in the trilogy, 2003’s The
Matrix Reloaded, was praised for its action and style but panned for its portrayal of
the humans who live in Zion, humanity’s haven outside of the Matrix. One infamous scene in particular has been
subject to some pretty intense mockery since the movie’s release. Between that and Reloaded’s over-reliance
on philosophical conversations at the expense of the action, it simply ends up failing to
live up to the first Matrix movie — despite Reeves’ excellent fighting skills. Many actors end up dipping their toes into
the world of directing, but not all of them are any good at it. Thankfully, Reeves’ first directorial outing
was actually pretty decent. Man of Tai Chi, a Chinese-American martial
arts film, is a love letter to the film’s star and Reeves’ stuntman friend, Tiger
Chen, and is inspired by his life and experiences. Man of Tai Chi came out the same year as 47
Ronin, but managed to avoid the same mistakes that brought that movie down. For one thing, the movie actually embraced
its Chinese roots, cast, and environment, rather than a shoehorning a white, Western
viewpoint into an ancient story. The critical consensus was that Man of Tai
Chi didn’t do anything groundbreaking, per se, but that the story hearkened back to a
style of martial arts movie that hadn’t been seen in quite some time, which Reeves lovingly
embraced and paid tribute to in his directorial debut. The New York Times wrote: “The movie finds a Januslike Mr. Reeves looking
in two directions at once: toward the old-school kung-fu movies of once upon a matinee time
and the modern China emblemized by the high rises that slice through smog-swathed Beijing.” Reeves’ respect for China, and the style of
filmmaking that served as a personal tribute to his friend, is on very clear display, here. If ever there was a spiritual successor to
Ted Logan of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, it’s surfer FBI agent Johnny Utah of Point
Break. The film, directed by future Oscar winner
Kathryn Bigelow, tells the story of a gang of crooks known as the “Ex-Presidents” — because
they wear rubber masks of Nixon, Reagan, Johnson, and Carter while they rob banks. They also happen to be expert surfers, so
rookie undercover agent Utah infiltrates their ranks, eventually embracing his destiny as
a wave rider. In addition to having some thrilling action
and killer surfing scenes, Point Break is also a lovely reminder of the acting talent
of Patrick Swayze, who passed away in 2009 from pancreatic cancer. “He was a beautiful person, an artist. Patrick, he just wanted to experience life…
he lived life to the fullest.” Granted, both John Wick movies are great,
and it’s pretty hard to rank one above the other. John Wick: Chapter 2 comes in just behind
the first here because the first acted so well as a kind of a surprise comeback film
for Reeves. John Wick: Chapter 2 begins just a few days
after the events of John Wick, and finds the former assassin continuing his rampage of
revenge — only this time with a new dog. The film features just as much sleek, well-directed
violence as the first film, but John Wick: Chapter 2 also takes a trip over to Rome for
some international espionage among the ancient ruins of the eternal city — proving that
Wick is a truly worldly international assassin. “Whoever comes, whoever it is… I’ll kill them. I’ll kill them all.” Despite having starred in numerous action
movies, John Wick might be Keanu Reeves’ grand opus of a role. This 2014 neo-noir action film tells the story
of a former assassin, drawn back into a life of killing after car thieves kill his puppy
— who was a memento left behind by his late wife. The role is absolutely perfect for Reeves,
whose sleek looks, naturally stoic nature, and incredible action skills are all put to
great use in the movie. Everyone was kind of surprised by how good
John Wick was, and how perfect Reeves was for the part. It was labelled as a career comeback for Reeves,
whose star had kind of dwindled. In 2017, Birth.Movies.Death wrote: “It wasn’t too long ago that critics were
bemoaning the presumed end of Reeves’ career as a leading man.” But the John Wick franchise has helped bring
Reeves back into the spotlight — and now he’s calling the shots. “You, uh, working again?” “Nah, just sorting stuff out.” Never before and never since has a city bus
had such a grand movie moment. Speed is the film that put Reeves on the action
radar, and is still a great watch 25 years later. Reeves stars as Los Angeles SWAT officer Jack,
who boards an LA bus that’s rigged with a bomb that will explode if the vehicle’s speed
drops below 50 miles per hour. Sandra Bullock co-stars as a passenger named
Annie who takes over driving duties while Jack tries to defuse the bomb and save the
other passengers. Speed’s premise is a tad ridiculous, and there
are plenty of seriously unbelievable moments throughout the movie, but its absurdity is
overshadowed by the fact that it’s so just darned fun. Reeves and Bullock have great chemistry, and
his action prowess here is accompanied by a real sense of charm and acting charisma. This is the movie for which Reeves will be
remembered — for the rest of his life and beyond. It’s also the franchise that put sci-fi masters
the Wachowski Sisters on the movie map. By utilizing new filmmaking technology and
tapping into the exploding Internet zeitgeist, The Matrix was able to become an action movie
for the budding new millennium. Reeves stars as Thomas Anderson, a computer
programmer who lives a double life online as the hacker “Neo.” After he’s contacted by Morpheus and Trinity,
he finally learns the truth about the world. Artificial intelligence has taken over the
planet and robot overlords use humans for their bio energy, keeping them in a catatonic
state while their minds believe they are living in the regular world. This false consciousness is called “The Matrix,”
and Neo joins the quest to free humanity from its grasp. The movie used innovative camera techniques
to amp up the many awesome fight scenes, including 360-degree camera movement and extreme slow
motion to make even more of a mind bender out of an already interesting premise. By utilizing Reeves’ natural stoic nature
and his sleek movements, The Matrix became his best ever action movie. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about your favorite
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  1. Glad we get someone who dislikes half of his movies to narrate how much she dislikes his movies. Find someone who appreciates action movies next time you do such a list.

  2. I wish the Matrix stuck to the original idea (the machines using human brains for/as their super computers rather than a source of power, which is lame and stupid).

  3. This list is more accurate than I was expecting. "Street Kings" isn't quite as action-y as the other films mentioned but is better than many of them. And if you're still awake after the first hour, "47 Ronin" is actually kinda cool.

  4. 47 ronin: y’all know Keanu is part chines, Portuguese and native Hawaiian he’s basically Asian

  5. I really believe that the people who make this videos are the same ones who watch a movie once because its "in" or cool and not to really understand the plots and base of the stories, they just butchered some great movies right here.

  6. “Constantine was one of those movies that should have been really cool and just didn’t live up to its potential” In the words of the great philosopher Mr Hat “you go to hell.. you go to hell and you die!”. I would argue that its the best film he was ever in. Phenomenal cast. Phenomenal story. Holds up in 2019.

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