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mygif

One that might also be considered for this list is Reeves’ supporting turn in The Gift, wherein he portrays a surprisingly convincing, spousal-abusing asshole. He plays his disorientation (“I din’t kill her!”) and his overall blankness with surprising menace, to the point where my girlfriend commented, “I never thought I’d be afraid of Keanu Reeves kicking my door down to come get me, but here I am.”

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Yeah, I agree with Mike, The Gift should probably be in that list somewhere. He was really good in that film, and I think he should probably play bad guys more often based on it.

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I’ve been trying to convince people for a long time that Keanu Reeves has redeeming value as an actor, but couldn’t quite figure out how to word my argument. From now on, I’ll just point them to this post, which left me thinking, “Yeah, THAT’S what I always meant.” Awesome, dude! Whoa!

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danielle said on March 4th, 2008 at 9:30 am

I’m glad you included Parenthood; it is a really good movie and he’s excellent in it and it pains me to say that because, despite your excellent list, I still have a bit of a hate on for him. But the part in Parenthood is perfect for him and especially poignant when he starts talking about his own dad.

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mightybaldking said on March 4th, 2008 at 10:25 am

But then you have him as Dianne Keaton’s secondary love interest in “Somethings Gotta Give.”
QED

Although, that could just be crappy writing.

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mygif

Unless there’s a inside joke I’m missing, Keanu’s cohort in Bill and Ted is named Alex Winter. His character’s last name was Preston.

If there was a joke there I missed, let me just slink back to me little corner of the internet.

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SpaceSquid said on March 4th, 2008 at 11:44 am

Well, if we’re nit-picking, I should probably also point out that “Desperate Liaisons” is not a film so much as a rather damning indictment of someone’s love life. Hopefully not MGK’s, although that might the error interestingly Freudian.

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SpaceSquid said on March 4th, 2008 at 11:45 am

Er, might *make* the error interestingly Freudian. Damn you, irony!

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No, it wasn’t a joke. I was sloppy. Corrected.

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Add another voice saying that Keanu was great in “The Gift.” Very underrated flick.

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I’m quite fond of him in Speed, as well. Like The Rock, it’s a well done but formulaic action movie that works because the central character is offbeat from the normal action star.

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I totally have to support Keanu in “The Gift”. I did not know I could fear that man. It was pretty awesome.

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Don’t forget River’s Edge. Classssssic!

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Agreed. I completely agree. I always try to defend Keanu but no one ever listens to me. (Much like Gambit, actually….)

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CandidGamera said on March 4th, 2008 at 1:04 pm

I actually liked him in Devil’s Advocate. And he was serviceable in Constantine – spitting his lines with real venom.

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I liked him in Constantine but only after accepting they weren’t going for the comic vibe at all. Horribly miscast if it had been the proper Constantine, he still managed to do a great character with what he had.

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I could almost see the argument for Constantine if he wasn’t dramatically flicking that goddamned lighter the entire movie.

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I really rather liked him in The Watcher. Not a great flick, overall, but he did an excellent job portraying the killer.

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ladypeyton said on March 4th, 2008 at 3:47 pm

Once I accepted that it was completely removed from the comic and that its title was only accidentally similar (shhh! it’s the only way I can deal) I actually liked him in Constantine.

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Another vote for both THE GIFT and THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE. The man can do what he does very well.

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One of the guys I did theatre with in Ottawa saw Reeves play Hamlet on stage and said that it was very bad.
(I don’t recall the exact adjectives.)

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He was pro in Devil’s Advocate.

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mygif

Well, yes, that’s kind of the point of this article–casting an affable slacker? Go call Keanu Reeves, he’ll do you fine. Casting the leading man in ‘Hamlet’? Less so.

I actually feel the same way about Bruce Willis. He doesn’t have a lot of range, but he plays very well within that range. The difference is that Willis has rarely strayed outside of the “character actor” parts he plays well, and Keanu has.

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mygif

Ah, finally I found a ‘review’ of Keanu Reeves acting skills I could agree with!

For years now I’ve been defending Keanu’s acting abilites to many and in the end I always get the same response, “He doesn’t know how to act . . . He’s over-rated . . . blah-blah-blah”

There are some films I found Keanu a little…pardon my french here – sh!ty. But most of it stems from his early projects. I find his skills and range improves with each new role (now try convincing an Keanu hater of that one, I must add). My tops of the list are: The Gift, Speed, and The Matrix triology. My least fav has to be Chain Reaction. Not only it was a lousy, hard-to-follow movie. But Keanu (to me) seemed awked and clumsy with his body movements and language in that one.

The Gift is one I hold dear, for he really had his role of ‘Donnie’ down pack. Ten seconds into his scenes, I was ready to kill him myself. And coming from a girl whom Keanu had since, “Whoa” were a differcult task for him to pull off.

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mygif

I do agree that in the proper role, Keanu’s mannerisms can be appropriate. However, I repeatedly laughed out loud at his villainous performance in Much Ado. We watched it in my English class and he delivered more comic relief than Benedick and Beatrice combined.

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[…] great, as long as you pretend it’s not a hellblazer movie. keanu is a good actor who is consistently mis-used, rachel weisz and tilda swinton are both awesome in everything, and who doesn’t like a dude […]

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Saw him as Ariel once in a production of The Tempest (very Bill and Ted-ish, unfortunately). I still like his work, even though I never can forget that I’m watching Keanu Reeves in the role. In a funny way, he’s almost like a video game avatar, except he’s standing in for the viewer in his movies.

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Agent Smith said on April 22nd, 2008 at 11:47 am

Personally, I didn’t find him convincing in The Gift (but that’s the beauty of subjective perceptions). My vote for “honorary mention” would have to be for Feeling Minnesota. Not to be mentioned at all: Bram Stoker’s Dracula…a performance even more overshadowed by that of Gary Oldman’s.

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The lack of The Matrix on that list makes me depressed. I liked his performance there better than that in MOPI and ASD, but maybe it’s just me.

Other great performances IMO – Constantine, The Devil’s Advocate, Under the Influence, and I have yet to watch The Gift but everyone seems to think it among his best.

– Anakin McFly, webmaster of the Keanu-defence site ‘Whoa is (Not) Me’, who likes your article but less so its title.

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MaxTheReaper said on August 29th, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Keanu Reeves, in addition to his real-life Nice-Guy behavior (and I don’t mean the pathetic losers who moon after women hoping to get laid, but actual, honest-to-god goodness), has perhaps one of the MOST DEPRESSING LIVES EVER.

It’s like a fucking Joss Whedon production, except instead of a supporting cast to help shoulder the abuse, the guy has to go it alone. You can find a list somewhere on the internets, but it’s seriously too long to put here.

But this is really just an overly-long way of saying I agree: Keanu may not be the best at emoting, but guns aren’t meant to be teddy bears, either. You can’t just stick something in a wildly inappropriate place and expect it to work out. Put him in a role he knows and he’s aces.

N-n-n-necropost!

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