Keanu Reeves may not exactly be a great character actor, but he has made some Most Excellent movies (sorry…) and his recent success in the John Wick universe confirms he can play the right kind of roles really well. And we have two sequels to his greatest hits to look forward to: John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum (to be released May 2019), and Bill & Ted 3: Bill & Ted Face The Music (scheduled for release August 2020). Unfortunately, Replicas will find a place at the other end of the spectrum on Reeves’ filmography, as this movie is much more Johnny Mnemonic than it is The Matrix.
Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, I enjoyed his 2011 movie ‘Drive’. Sure some of the slow scenes and long pauses and deep and meaningful looks between Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan gave it a hint of pretentiousness at times, but that was easily outweighed by the stylisation, imagery and soundtrack. So Refn must have figured he could take those qualities up a notch or two when he wrote and directed the Neon Demon.
Could this be one of the few movies in which Keanu Reeves actually appears to act well?
The director of John Wick, Chad Stahelski, was Keanu’s stunt double on The Matrix, and since worked his way into stunt co-ordinator on movies like 300, The Expendables, and The Hunger Games, and this is his first time as director, teaming up again with Keanu.