As the Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves turns 52, we mark his birthday by looking back at 5 films that proved to be milestones in his career spanning over three decades
1. Film: 'The Matrix' (1999)
Character: Thomas Anderson/Neo
Keanu Reeves in a still from 'The Matrix'. Pic/YouTube
What would you do if you wake up one day to realise that reality is simulated? Keanu Reeves takes us on that journey in 'The Matrix' where we see him react in bewilderment as everything he took for granted is not what it seems. Keanu Reeves is perfectly cast as the computer programmer Thomas Anderson by day and hacker nicknamed Neo by night with whom the audience connect while discovering fascinating concepts. 'The Matrix' is regarded as one of the greatest sci-fi films and has won four Oscars as well as other accolades including BAFTA Awards.
2. Film: 'Speed' (1994)
Character: Jack Traven
Keanu Reeves in a still from 'Speed'. Pic/YouTube
Given the big budget of the film, the news of Keanu Reeves' casting as Officer Jack Traven stirred up a controversy as, until then, he was only known for starring in comedies, indie dramas and experimental films. In 'Speed', Reeves plays the LAPD cop who is on a mission to rescue civilians trapped in a city bus rigged with a bomb programmed to explode if the bus slows down or if civilians try to escape. With the critical and commercial success of 'Speed', Keanu Reeves' career reached a new high.
3. Film: 'Constantine' (2005)
Character: John Constantine
Keanu Reeves in a still from 'Constantine'. Pic/YouTube
The film is loosely based on Vertigo Comics' 'Hellblazer' comic book, which is also a part of and run by DC Comics. Keanu Reeves plays John Constantine, a chain-smoking cynic with the ability to perceive and communicate with half-angels and half-demons in their true form. This 2005 action-supernatural thriller was a commercial success.
4. Film: 'The Devil's Advocate' (1997)
Character: Kevin Lomax
Keanu Reeves in a still from 'The Devil's Advocate'. Pic/YouTube
With films like 'Johnny Mnemonic', 'Chain Reaction' and 'Feeling Minnesota' proving to be critical failures, Keanu Reeves was going through a rough phase in his professional life. He took a hefty pay-cut and agreed to star in the horror-drama 'The Devil's Advocate' (1997) as a defense attorney Kevin Lomax alongside Al Pacino and Charlize Theron. This move proved to be a turning point and helped him climb out of his career low as the film turned out to be a success owing to its supernatural thrills and character exploration.
5. Film: 'Point Break' (1991)
Character: Johnny Utah
Keanu Reeves in a still from 'Point Break'. Pic/YouTube
Keanu Reeves essays the role of a rookie FBI agent Johnny Utah who is investigating a series of bank robberies possibly being committed by surfers. Johnny goes undercover to infiltrate the surfing community and develops a complex friendship with Bodhi, played by Patrick Swayze, the leader of a group of surfers. The film turned out to be a box office success and one of Reeves' earliest hits.
Other notable mentions:
'My Own Private Idaho' (1991)
'The Lake House' (2006)
'Street Kings' (2008)
'John Wick' (2014)