Keanu Reeves: From ‘Bill and Ted’ to ‘Cyberpunk 2077’ – A Cinematic Journey


Keanu Reeves is an actor who shot to fame in the late 80s, primarily on the back of the fantastically fun Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, in which he played Ted Logan, a good-natured but dim-witted slacker who along with his best friend are told that will be responsible for ushering in a new utopia for humankind. He also starred in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Speed and Point Break.

The Matrix
The Matrix //credit: Warner Bros.

Perhaps the pinnacle of Reeves’ fame came with 1999’s The Matrix, a sci-fi blockbuster that had a huge influence on popular culture. Reeves’ career has had its highs and lows and he has faced criticism over his acting ability (most recently and bizarrely Matthew Perry’s autobiography) but has always been a popular actor.

Yeah…I’m Thinking I’m Back – John Wick

John Wick //credit: Summit Entertainment

Reeves consistently worked through the 2000s but it was clear he wasn’t the box office draw that he once was; that all changed with John Wick. This was a film with an anonymous title, a first-time director Chad Stahelski primarily known as a stunt coordinator and whatever star power Keanu Reeves had. The film was a huge success. Reeves played hitman-extraordinaire John Wick, who retired but was provoked into work again by Russian mobsters killing his pet dog. In terms of action and fighting it would rank as one of the greatest action films of all time, with spectacularly choreographed fight scenes and a fantastic central performance by Reeves. On a budget of $20,000,000 it made around $86,000,000. On top of that, it was a cultural phenomenon. There have been three sequels, a tv show in production and probably a lot more to come from this world. While none of the sequels have quite captured the magic of the first film they have all been enjoyable and interesting films.

I Admit It…I Didn’t Expect That – Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 //credit: CD Projekt

Another big project for Reeves has been his involvement in Cyberpunk 2077, one of the most anticipated video games of recent years, and while the game was a little disappointing, it wasn’t because of Reeves. In Cyberpunk 2077 Reeves played Johnny Silverhand a huge figure in the Cyberpunk world, a famous musician and rebel activist. To cut a long story short, your character downloads Johnny Silverhand into his mind, and he appears to you, perhaps slowly taking over your body or a helpful ally. It is slowly becoming more acceptable for A-List actors to take on roles in video games where acting is important, and not just their star power (important note – the video game industry is made up of many talented actors who put in great performances, but they are not household names), Elliot Page and Willem Defoe starred in Beyond: Two souls.

This Is The Story Of Our Most Excellent Dads – Bill & Ted Face The Music

Bill and Ted
Bill and Ted Face the Music //credit: United Artists Releasing

Far more important than the latest Matrix sequel was that another Bill and Ted film was recently released with Reeves taking up his familiar role of Ted. Many years have passed and Wyld Stallyns have still not written the song that creates the utopic future they were told about. Reeves seemed delighted to return to the character and world that made him famous, throwing himself into the oddity of the film wholeheartedly. There are a number of very odd pairings of various “Bill and Teds” from different time periods, with usually the future versions being awful ridiculous people. The pair have also had children with their respective princess wives, each having a daughter who is very much after their respective fathers.

One thing that has helped Keanu Reeves over the years is that he seems like a nice guy, known for being relaxed and friendly and coming out with statements like, “I don’t want to live in a world where kindness is seen as a weakness,” and being declared the “internet’s boyfriend” due to his good looks, niceness and plentiful anecdotes of behaving like a lovely and humble person.

Looking on IMDb as for what Reeves has in the future, more John Wick and more Cyberpunk but also Constantine 2 (sequel to the poorly received comic book movie that has since gained a lot of fans over the years) and it’s good to have that the combination of nice guy and action movie megastar will continue for years to come.

Also Read: The Red Pill or the Blue Pill: Matrix Philosophy

Like this article? Get the latest news, articles and interviews delivered straight to your inbox.

Posted by
Richard Norton

Gentleman, podcaster and pop culture nerd, I love talking and writing about pretty much all pop culture.