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Is Keanu Reeves really that bad of an actor?


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#1 of 85 Tom-G

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Posted July 12 2003 - 06:12 AM

Maybe it's my deep admiration for the Matrix films, but I really don't find Keanu Reeves to be as bad an actor as what others find him to be.

He may not have the range as say, Edward Norton, but I find Keanu to be effective and for the most part, he seems to choose pretty decent roles. A few that I can name are movies such as Point Break, Dracula and Feeling Minnesota.

I really think that he has a stigma attached to him because of his role in the Bill & Ted movies.

Like I said, I don't think he's the greatest actor of our generation, but I do find him effective. There is a difference.

Any thoughts?

#2 of 85 Marvin Richardson

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Posted July 12 2003 - 06:20 AM

He doesn't bother me in certain movies, because he's always essentially Keanu Reeves. Much like Kevin Costner, he's not capable (that he's shown or that I've seen) of really playing someone else. Any time he's tried (Much Ado About Nothing for example) he looks like a very bad actor. I think when he chooses his roles carefully (like The Matrix, Speed and a few others) he can be effective, but only when the part basically calls for someone who is like Keanu Reeves. That's the difference between a great actor and a mediocre one.

#3 of 85 Matt Stone

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Posted July 12 2003 - 06:29 AM

He definitely doesn't have too much range, but I do think he's pretty consistently good in the roles that he does choose.

He's pretty good in Rivers Edge as well.
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#4 of 85 Ricardo C

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Posted July 12 2003 - 06:31 AM

He has a certain style for delivering his lines, and he carries it over to every single character, regardless of time period or genre. As Paul in the 1940s-themed "A Walk in the Clouds", he sounds just about the same as he does as Neo in the futuristic "The Matrix".

That said, I enjoy his performances a lot. His delivery may not be perfect, but he knows how to sell the character.

One of my favorite scenes of his is when Anthony Quinn helps him serenade Aitana Sánchez-Gijón in AWITC. Good stuff Posted Image

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#5 of 85 JoeMKal

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Posted July 12 2003 - 07:39 AM

personally I have never seen a movie I didn't like of his, except maybe Chain Reaction, that was only ok, then again I tend to avoid his non action/thriller centric roles, also the Bill and Ted movies were two of my favorite movies as a kid, I was 8 when the first one came out

I pretty much have to agree with everything said about his lack of range, but who cares, you don't need range if you pick the right roles, which I think he has done quite well for himself

#6 of 85 Mike Broadman

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Posted July 12 2003 - 08:02 AM

I guess you can throw me in the camp of folks who think that, yes, he really is that bad. And no, it's not stigma from Bill or Ted, whichever he was. I haven't seen that in ages- actually, since it first came out.

If there is any "stigma" from a role, it's The Devil's Advocate. The movie was silly but had an outrageous plot and script, not to mention Pacino at his over-the-top best, that putting the phenomenally bad Reeves as the lead dragged it down.

Even in the The Gift, which required him to act like a very simple-minded spouse-abusing thug, he was bland.

In the Matrix, which doesn't even need actors, just bodies in the middle of all the effects, I laughed my butt off at him. Some of those bad karate poses and Joey Lawrence-type "woah"s were too much. He was more tolerable in the 2nd Matrix because there was so much other stuff going on that it seemed like he did less.

#7 of 85 Jason Seaver

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Posted July 12 2003 - 08:33 AM

Quote:
Maybe it's my deep admiration for the Matrix films, but I really don't find Keanu Reeves to be as bad an actor as what others find him to be.
I don't know if I'd use the Matrix movies to praise someone's acting ability - the only good performances I can really recall from either are Hugo Weaving and Joey Pants in the first and the French fellow in the second (and that may just be relief that someone was willing to be something other than bland). Even Laurence Fishburne comes off pretty bad in The Matrix Reloaded.

Reeves isn't awful when cast right, despite having very little range - it sounds like a broken record, I know. Having no range isn't a bad thing; plenty of character actors and movie stars have had good careers playing variations on the same theme. The thing is, Reeves really isn't suited for a dramatic lead, and casting directors keep putting him there.
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#8 of 85 Steve_Tk

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Posted July 12 2003 - 08:45 AM

I wouldn't say he's bad, I would just say he's not good. He's fine in the matrix films, but I could never see him pulling off something more than that.

He could never act in something like an epic. It would be horrible casting. I could never see him in something like Gladiator, Braveheart, dances with wolves. But he works good in the matrix.

#9 of 85 Lou Sytsma

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Posted July 12 2003 - 09:15 AM

He's always struck me as being very limited in his ability to demonstrate any emotion.

So yeah he is that bad.
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#10 of 85 Paul_Scott

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Posted July 12 2003 - 09:23 AM

Keanu Reeves hasn't accomplished anything that 444+ other good looking men with SAG cards couldn't have done as well or better.
For such a seemingly popular actor, i find him remarkably un-charasmatic.
blessed with good features, yes- but his performances exhibit all the character and soul of a department store mannequin.

#11 of 85 Adam_S

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Posted July 12 2003 - 09:31 AM

no he's not that bad. In fact I think he's excellent and for the most part chooses roles that are very good for his capabilities. As others have said he can sell a character, which is better than some highly trained thespians who get every vowel right can manage.

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#12 of 85 Jeremiah

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Posted July 12 2003 - 09:34 AM

Quote:
He's always struck me as being very limited in his ability to demonstrate any emotion.

This is the problem. Has he been in a movie where he had to cry and show emotional pain? That could get ugly. I like him anyway, but he is always playing Keanu Reeves as others have said. Maybe a lot of other good looking actors could of accomplished the same things, but than again, maybe they couldn't. I didn't like his scene in November when he got fired, it just seemed so unreal.

Matrix, Point Break, Speed, Dracula, and Parenthood are movies that I liked with him in it and that's not bad. Who would of thought that Keanu Reeves is an action star? He seems like he is more in the class of Arnold and Sly. Is that a correct view or not?
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#13 of 85 Rob Bartlett

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Posted July 12 2003 - 09:42 AM

He has good looks, a good attitude, and a good agent.

Not amazingly talented.
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#14 of 85 Bruce_S

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Posted July 12 2003 - 10:59 AM

Keanu is not going to get any academy award nominations in his lifetime. I don't think, he really cares about it as much as Jim Carrey trying to be one. Keanu seems to know how to pick his role though, give him credit. From Bill and Ted, Speed, and Matrix - etc... Like it or not - he's going well for himself and living a good life. Also, he's seems to be a well grounded person and a regular guy and able to live his life very privately and away from the media and tabloids. I don't recalled him ever getting into any illegal matters.

He's laughing to the bank with the Matrix contract! He's expecting to make close to or over $200 Million alone. Not bad for an actor w/o any academy award nominations.

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#15 of 85 Rob P S

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Posted July 12 2003 - 11:33 AM

Hey, he caught hell for turning down Speed 2 (which I liked :b ) and then when it tanked he ended up looking like the smartest guy in the world. He knows what roles he wants to do, and his movies usually open well. Plus he seems like a nice guy, and there are way better actors (like Sean Penn) who are jerks.

#16 of 85 Bruce Hedtke

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Posted July 12 2003 - 11:40 AM

Quote:
Has he been in a movie where he had to cry and show emotional pain?


Devil's Advocate for one. He wasn't very good at it.

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#17 of 85 sheldon M.

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Posted July 12 2003 - 11:58 AM

When I first saw River's Edge, which I thought was an excellent movie-I thought Keanu Reeves would someday be a star. Well I was right-but it turns out that that movie was probably his only decent performance in a film.

#18 of 85 Jason Seaver

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Posted July 12 2003 - 12:18 PM

Quote:
He's laughing to the bank with the Matrix contract! He's expecting to make close to or over $200 Million alone.
Which puzzles the heck out of me. Keanu really seems like the most replaceable element in those movies. Not that dumping Reeves from the movies would necessarily be a good idea, but I don't see him as being worth spending $15M+ for those movies.

I mean, who came out of The Matrix saying "wow, Keanu Reeves was awesome in that movie!"?
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#19 of 85 Adam Barratt

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Posted July 12 2003 - 12:23 PM

I'm surprised to see praise for his acting in Bram Stoker's Dracula. For me, it was the most painful cinematic experience of that year; shockingly bad acting in every way.

Adam

#20 of 85 Patrick Sun

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Posted July 12 2003 - 01:18 PM

But you know, Keanu's probably an average actor, but he's a movie star, and a known commodity (crafted from a string of on screen personas in his films over the years), so if the public go sees the projects he chooses, he's going a good enough job picking those projects, and working his tail off to give the audience what they want to see, even if it doesn't mean seeing great acting performance from him, per se.

Oh yeah, he was damn good as the redneck wifebeater in "The Gift". Posted Image

I don't think many consider Arnold Schwartzenegger or Sly Stallone great actors either, but they too have successfully crafted movie star personas (in the action genre) that audiences have gravitated towards for the past couple of decades (though lately, their stardom is waning).
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