Keanu Reeves still kickin' butts

Keanu Reeves in a scene from "John Wick".

Between 1999 and 2003, Keanu Reeves' career peaked with "The Matrix" trilogy, but then suffered from a series of inconsistent dips ever since. However, the 50-year-old actor is back with a vengeance in "John Wick", an action-packed thriller that has gotten rave reviews from many critics since its U.S. release two weeks ago.

With audiences in South East Asia finally able to catch the movie this week when it is released in cinemas, we go back in time for a retrospective of Reeves' illustrious career in various action movies through the decades.

1. "Point Break" (1991)

Keanu Reeves played an undercover FBI agent in "Point Break".

At the time of the movie's release back in 1991, who could have thought that Keanu Reeves, known mostly by fans for his goofy roles in "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" and "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey", was convincing as an undercover FBI agent? After all, he had the look and attitude to pull off the kind of "young and reckless" role that would later become one of his most iconic characters ever seen in his acting career. "Point Break" was also best known for the late Patrick Swayze's charismatic performance as the mysterious Bodhi and Kathryn Bigelow's engaging direction that featured slow-motion surfing sequences and amazing stunts. Luke Bracey, who recently appeared in "The November Man", would fill in the shoes of Keanu Reeves' iconic role as Johnny Utah for next year's remake of "Point Break".

2. "Speed" (1994)

(L-R) Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock were a good pair in "Speed".

This is the movie that made Keanu Reeves one of the major Hollywood action heroes of the '90s when he successfully pulled off another iconic performance as the maverick L.A.P.D. cop Jack Traven. "Speed" was one of Keanu Reeves' most popular movies and also among the most unique action plot that lived up to its fascinating "Die Hard on a bus" premise. A big-budget sequel was followed in 1997 under the title of "Speed 2: Cruise Control" but Keanu Reeves was smart enough not to reprise his role. The sequel, of course, became one of the most expensive flops in movie history.

3. "Johnny Mnemonic" (1995)

Keanu Reeves is "Johnny Mnemonic".

Made at the height of Keanu Reeves' mass popularity after his successful hit in "Speed", "Johnny Mnemonic" was one of the major Hollywood blockbusters that cashed in on the trend of the 'cyber-terrorism' genre in 1995 (the other two were "The Net" and "Virtuosity"). Although the movie was blessed with a cool cyberpunk sci-fi premise and Keanu Reeves' so-bad-it's-good acting performance, "Johnny Mnemonic" was pretty much a forgettable B-movie that borrowed ideas from "Blade Runner", "Escape From New York" and "Total Recall".

4. "Chain Reaction" (1996)

Keanu Reeves fled from a massive explosion in the scene from "Chain Reaction".

Keanu Reeves returned to an action-oriented role with "Chain Reaction", which happened to be one of the most anticipated action blockbusters back in the summer of 1996. With Andrew Davis in the director's chair, he tried to make another premise similar to his earlier success in "The Fugitive" but "Chain Reaction" failed to make an impact at the box office. While the movie was nothing more than your average cat-and-mouse movie, Keanu Reeves made quite an impression playing a tech expert who sports long hair.

5. "The Matrix" trilogy (1999-2003)

Keanu Reeves stopping a hail of bullets in an iconic scene from "The Matrix".

"The Matrix" was arguably the benchmark sci-fi action movie that redefined the genre – for better or worse – in the modern history of Hollywood cinema. Upon its release in 1999, "The Matrix" was an innovative sci-fi blockbuster that mixes Chinese martial-art elements and groundbreaking visual effects (particularly the "bullet time" effect). At the heart of the attraction was of course, Keanu Reeves himself playing in what would become his most signature role ever known to mainstream viewers – the Zen-like hero, Neo. It was nevertheless the kind of performance that only Keanu Reeves could pull off by acting cool the whole time until it's hard to imagine somebody else but him alone. Even though the subsequent sequels of "The Matrix Reloaded" and "The Matrix Revolutions" in 2003 were greeted with mixed response, "The Matrix" trilogy remained one of the most talked-about franchises ever made.

6. "Constantine" (2005)

Keanu Reeves also played the comic book character, "Constantine"

Based on the DC/Vertigo comic book called "Hellblazer", "Constantine" was a spellbinding cinematic experience that mixes supernatural horror and comic-book allusion directed by then-feature debut filmmaker Francis Lawrence ("I am Legend", "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire", "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1" and "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2"). Unfortunately, the movie was poorly received at the box office and many fans were unhappy over Keanu Reeves' miscast role as John Constantine. In the movie, his character was an American, dark-haired and wore a black-and-white suit. But the original comic book version was entirely different altogether as John Constantine was supposed to be a British guy who had blonde hair and wore an olive-coloured trench coat. But still, Keanu Reeves was quite captivating playing a sullen and chain-smoking antihero who suffered from terminal lung cancer.

7. "Street Kings" (2008)

Keanu Reeves gets tough in "Street Kings".

"Street Kings" marked Keanu Reeves' comeback role to contemporary action movie since 1996's "Chain Reaction". His performance as LAPD detective Tom Ludlow was a classic hotshot cop character that almost recalled his iconic Jack Traven character in "Speed". But the movie itself was a clichéd-ridden cop drama that explored the dark side of the police force. And it was especially nothing new since "Street Kings" was directed by David Ayer, who already delved into the similar genre three times in a row beginning with 2001's "Training Day", 2003's "Dark Blue" and 2006's "Harsh Times".

8. "Man Of Tai Chi" (2013)

Keanu Reeves in the scene from "Man Of Tai Chi".

Even though "Man Of Tai Chi" wasn't exactly a leading action role for Keanu Reeves (that actually went to stuntman-turned-actor Tiger Chen), it was notable for his directorial debut as well as his rare bad-guy performance playing a ruthless owner of an underground fighting tournament named Donaka Mark. Thanks to Yuen Woo-Ping's exhilarating fight choreography that showcased the arts of tai chi, karate, MMA and taekwondo, "Man Of Tai Chi" did manage to showcase some visual flair in the action department. Unfortunately, Keanu Reeves was far from being an accomplished director. His direction was mostly stilted, and his performance was laughably bad to the point that he even snarled in front of the camera.

9. "47 Ronin" (2013)

Keanu Reeves tries action again with "47 Ronin".

A notorious Hollywood production that got delayed many times, suffered script changes and multiple reshoots, Carl Rinsch's feature debut in "47 Ronin" was a bloated mess of a Japanese samurai epic and supernatural fantasy. Keanu Reeves, in the meantime, was forgettable as a disgraced samurai Kai.

"John Wick" is now showing in cinemas.