Just last week, it was announced that Keanu Reeves had joined the cast of Ana Lily Amirpour’s (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night) next film titled The Bad Batch. There’s plenty of reasons to be excited about this film, but the fact that Reeves is apart of it only heightens the anticipation. When was the last time I felt that way about Reeves? I’ve always been pro-Reeves, but now I’m all in on Reeves in an enthusiastic way that I’ve never been before. The guy is only making the right moves right now, and because of that we are in the great Second Coming of Keanu Reeves. The following is a breakdown of the films past and upcoming that have contributed to this effect.
Reeves had action classics in his filmography with Point Break, Speed and The Matrix, but this was by far the most definitive entry of his in the genre. There was a vigor and ebullience in this and Reeves’s performance that had been sorely lacking of late. John Wick was one of my favorite films of last year, and reminded us all how much we love Keanu Reeves kicking ass.
I caught this film at Sundance this year, and for once Eli Roth made a film that wasn’t a complete travesty and much of that can be attributed to Reeves’s performance. Eli Roth is going for camp and dark comedy in this film, and pulls it off because of Reeves. Reeves is using his stiff and forced expressionism, sometimes deadpanning, to heighten the comedy of the piece, making it one of his most enjoyable performances as he goes all in on the camp.
The Neon Demon
Reeves will be in Nicolas Winding Refn’s next film, which also has the most Nicolas Winding Refn-y title ever: The Neon Demon. (Side-note: power ranking of Nicolas Winding Refn film titles?) There’s no word on who his character will be, but with the plot that follows “an aspiring model who finds herself in a terrifying predicament with her survival hanging in the balance”, we’ll cross our fingers for something gloriously villainous. I’m a gigantic fan of Winding Refn, and the prospect of him teaming up with Reeves is a dream come true.
The Bad Batch
I still haven’t seen Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, but I’ve got nothing but enthusiasm for it. The logline for her next film reads “A dystopian love story in a Texas wasteland and set in a community of cannibals”. I’m in. I’m all in. Add the fact that Reeves is in it reportedly playing a character called The Dream, and that just makes it even better. Him teaming up with Amirpour is a microcosm of how he’s been pulling off this Reeves-urrection, which is that he’s teaming up with filmmakers who are inventive, creative and push the boundaries – and it’s thrilling to watch Reeves do that at this stage in his career.