Blockbuster Case Study: Keanu Reeves

Have you ever wondered the secret to Keanu Reeves’ success? He made the seamless transition from airhead stoner in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure to blockbuster king, playing coveted roles in instantly classic movies like Speed, The Matrix trilogies and Constantine. Now, I’m no know-it-all, but my Spidey sense tells me that despite these hits, Keanu won’t be going down in the history books as one of the greatest actors of all time. But take it from a woman who can quote every line from The Matrix like her life depends on it — it doesn’t matter. And here’s why.

Keanu Was Built for Blockbusters

Keanu was built for action movies. Blockbusters, in fact. His monotone voice, his athletic build and deadpan delivery — none of that lends itself to his lesser known and forgotten about turns in movies like A Walk In the Clouds and Thumbsucker. Never heard of them? That’s because they’re the filmic equivalents of MJ’s heal the world type songs. Nobody cares.

Keanu Is a Man of Few Words

Give Keanu a gun and a cigarette and dress him up in skin-hugging leather or a black suit and tie and we’re in business. Better yet, give him as few lines as possible. Action movies, after all, don’t lend themselves to flowery, encumbered dialogue. It’s no wonder Keanu, the master of simplicity he is, is famous for delivering lines like: “Excellent!” and “Whoa…” with pure ease. It’s safe to say that Keanu mastered the art of using 140 characters or less before the advent of Twitter. Genius. Effing genius.

Keanu Goes Well With Explosions

Don’t forget the other essential key in the Keanu-is-movie-god equation — eye-gasmic visual effects. Keanu is at his best in films that could never have been made without over-the-top, cutting edge technology, explosions and general kick-assery. It’s called aid-enhancement and suspension of disbelief. I, for one though, thought the scene in The Matrix Reloaded where totally-digital Neo fights 27,000 Agent Smiths on his own was luda, but, hey, it worked, didn’t it?

Keanu Is Mancandy

Yet all of this means nothing if we don’t acknowledge the fact that the man is fine. I’m proud to say that Keanu was one of my first celebrity crushes. Back in the day, I had a giant Speed poster that took up a quarter of my bedroom wall. I kissed Keanu every night — on the lips, thank you very much. Ahh. Memories. Over the years, Keanu has been ranked on countless sexy mo-fo lists, from People magazine to Empire. Sometimes being one of the pretty people is all the talent you need. It keeps women happy, it keeps the booming entertainment industry happy, and I’m pretty sure it keeps Keanu happy.

So, when the day comes that Keanu Reeves doesn’t win an Oscar or a Golden Globe, you won’t be surprised. But that, my friends, is the secret to his success.


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