This weekend, the action thriller “John Wick” finally makes it’s debut in the U.K. Keanu Reeves leaps back into action as the underworld’s most feared assassin, forced out of his idyllic retirement after his dog is killed by vicious mobsters.
The film reunites Reeves with “The Matrix” stuntmen David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, making their directorial debut with this high adrenalin action epic action that merges gunplay with martial arts in a way we’ve never seen before!
With “John Wick” at last making it’s way to British cinemas this weekend, what better way to get yourself properly primed than with a look back on some of Keanu Reeves’ finest moments as an action star? Fasten your seatbelts for a rollercoaster trip down memory lane, readers – here’s our collection of the Best Keanu Reeves Action Scenes!
Final Bank Robbery
The tables have certainly turned on Johnny Utah – the federal agent previously tasked with hunting down the ex-Presidents is now reluctantly forced to join them in one last bank robbery! “Point Break” takes a decidedly darker turn in this sequence from the undercover beach adventure it’s been up to this point, and it seems Special Agent Utah has no way of getting out of this in one piece. This sequence is taut with unbearable suspense, and the late Patrick Swayze is also fantastic here as former President Ronald Reagan – er, charismatic surfer and gang leader Bodhi!
Neo vs Morpheus
In one fell swoop, the Wachowskis changed the landscape of sci-fi, action, and martial arts films with “The Matrix”. After Neo proclaims, “I know kung fu”, his sage-like mentor Morpheus requests “Show me”, leading to a reality-bending sparring match between master and student. English-speaking moviegoers had rarely seen this kind of eye-popping martial arts action before, and millions discovered the legendary action director Yuen Woo-ping through this film. As training sequences go, this one is the height of blistering, impeccably staged action!
Heroic bloodshed was making its way into Western action films in the late 90’s, and the hallway shootout in “The Matrix” was the point where it finally made landfall. Neo and Trinity must rescue their wise mentor Morpheus from the clutches of one the autonomous agents of The Matrix, but must first battle their way past a lobby full of security guards in a blizzard of speeding bullets. John Woo approves!
Subway fight with Smith
All of Neo’s training has led to this moment – his final confrontation with one of the greatest villains in cinema history, the nefarious Agent Smith. The blend of CGI, wire-work, and kung fu in this subway battle has almost never been done this perfectly before or since, and it’s firmly rooted in the development of Neo’s character and his realization of his destiny as the One. The image of Neo and Smith lunging at each other with bullets rippling past them as the camera performs as swopping 360 rotation around them is the stuff that battles of good and evil are made of, just one of the reasons why “The Matrix” has stood the test of time!
“The Matrix Reloaded”
Neo vs Seraph
The battle for the fate of humanity continues in “The Matrix Reloaded”, with Neo continuing his journey to becoming the One and ending the war between man and machines. Neo has made the mistake of thinking that you can simply schedule an uneventful meeting with the Oracle, but her bodyguard Seraph, played by Hong Kong action star Collin Chou, has a more unorthodox way of checking out Neo’s credentials. In Seraph’s words, “You do not truly know someone….until you fight them.” We can certainly agree with Seraph’s methodology of identification here!
Neo thought he destroyed Agent Smith, but what was once an enforcer maintaining the status quo of the machine world has now transformed in an endlessly replicating computer virus. Literally hundreds of Smith’s assault Neo from every angle, leaving even the prophesied savior of humanity struggling to keep up with them. Even Neo’s Superman thing may not be enough to put a stop to Smith this time! The super human kung fu that is the hallmark of “The Matrix” truly reaches its pinnacle with the Burly Brawl.
Abduct the Keymaker at your own risk, but be prepared to take on the Merovingian’s personal army of henchman if you so choose! An assortment of both Asian and Medieval weaponry is put to use in the Chateau fight, a first for “The Matrix” films, and easily the most thunderous laugh in the film comes after the Merovingian is forced to concede, “Ok, you have some skill”. As a bonus, Keanu Reeves’ martial arts trainer and the future “Man of Tai Chi”, Tiger Chen, appears as one of the Merovingian’s henchmen!
Tiger Chen owes Donaka Mark a life, and today, he’s come to collect! Keanu Reeves reunites with his martial arts coach for “The Matrix” films, Tiger Chen, in his directorial debut, 2013’s “Man of Tai Chi”. Tiger’s use of Tai Chi throughout the film is as versatile as it is powerful, and renowned action director Yuen Woo-ping works his magic once again in the film’s incredible fight sequences. Donaka has mostly been a behind-the-scenes villain throughout the film, but he’s not about to let this story come to an end without giving the people what they want!
Masked Samurai Duel
There’s only one way to prove oneself worthy of the title of Samurai, and Kai is up for the challenge. Looking at Kai’s opponent, you’d think that Silver Samurai jumped over from the Marvel Universe to have a blazing sword duel in feudal Japan. Based on the true story of the 47 Ronin who avenged the death of their lord in 18th century Japan, “47 Ronin” kicks into high gear early on and doesn’t slow down for anything!
Pirate ship sword fight
You just can’t do a historical action-adventure film justice without having your hero entering an underground fight club. Of course, in feudal Japan, when you walk into a fight club, it’s aboard a pirate ship with your opponent being a seven-foot tall ogre armed with an oversized kusarigama. Oh, and you also have to slash his gut about a dozen times before you even cause a flesh wound! There’s a harrowing battle ahead for the 47 Ronin, and Kai needs all the practice he can get on his monstrous foe before returning to the battlefield.
End fight with Dragon
Never underestimate a woman’s capabilities in combat, or they just might morph into a powerful, fire-breathing dragon on you. As the 47 Ronin near victory in their final battle, it’s up to Kai to bring down the treacherous Witch, by far the most challenging adversary any Samurai has ever had to face. Smaug has got nothing on this evil sorceress!
Fight with Ms. Perkins
Conducting “business” on the premises of the Continental is strictly forbidden in the underground world of assassins, but does Ms. Perkins care? Not when the price on John Wick’s head is this large. However, her plan to simply put a few slugs into John’s back doesn’t go as smoothly as she hoped, and the result is a knockdown, dragout MMA-match in John’s suite. Keanu Reeves adapts himself to the dynamic throws of Judo while Adrianne Palicki relies on close-quarters Brazilian Jiu-jitsu maneuvers and more than holds her own. This awesomely brutal action scene also offers some strong hints that John is Ms. Perkins ex – all the more reason to break hotel rules!