Although Keanu Reeves' acting skills has been the subject of jokes and parodies down through the years, there's very few actors working today who've maintained the kind of career he has over the course of nearly thirty years.

The role which brought him to wide prominence was 1989's teenage comedy Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, though Reeves did have a well-received supporting role the previous year in Stephen Frears's adaptation of Dangerous Liasions. Since then, his work with directors such as Gus Van Sant, Ron Howard, Francis Ford Coppola and many more helped to secure him as an A-list talent.

In later years, Reeves has opted for more genre-focused work that's become hugely successful, including John Wick and Nicolas Winding Refn's The Neon Demon.

As Reeves turns 54 today, here's our pick of his five best scenes from his career.

 

5. 'Point Break' - The Chase

It's no surprise that most of our choices here are action-orientated, as Reeves' best work comes from his ability to hurl himself fully into any action scene with the kind of verve and skill that'd rival Tom Cruise. With Kathryn Bigelow's breathless camerawork and finely-tuned editing, the chase in 'Point Break' serves as a reminder of how good Reeves is and how vital he can make it look. Also, Hot Fuzz parodied this scene beautifully too.

 

4. 'A Scanner Darkly' - "D is for dumbness... and despairing..."

Although it wasn't all that commercially successful, 'A Scanner Darkly' was a hypnotic, highly unconventional drama - both in terms of the visual aspects and the story itself. Adapted from a Philip K. Dick story, Reeves plays a detective who's investigating the sale and supply of a substance called D - which 20% of the entire US population are addicted to, himself included. Filled with paranoia and unlikely comedy (look out for a cameo from InfoWars nutjob Alex Jones), Reeves' performance is surprisingly restrained and thoughtful, and shows how experimental he can be with his career choices. This scene sums the film up pretty clearly.

 

3. 'Speed' - "Mister, I'm already there."

Although the sequel has gone down in history as one of the best examples of how to derail a potential franchise, 'Speed' remains a competently made, high-concept '90s blockbuster with an overwhelming performance from Dennis Hopper and a premise so simple that it can be summed up in a single tagline. This scene, however, shows how readily Reeves was able to occupy the space left by Bruce Willis - and his deftness with one-liner retorts. We've got all the balls in the world right here, man!

 

2. 'The Matrix' - The subway fight

Much like 'Speed', none of the sequels to 'The Matrix' ever lived up to what the first film did and ultimately were the lesser for it. Again, what makes Reeves' performance in 'The Matrix' is not necessarily his acting ability, but his willingness to thrust himself totally into the action. Reeves was recovering from neck surgery, but still insisted on fight training. That kind of commitment shows in a scene like this.

 

1. 'John Wick' - The house invasion

We've been pretty effusive about how great 'John Wick' and 'John Wick: Chapter 2' is, so we're probably repeating ourselves here somewhat. Simply put, 'John Wick' works like a mixture between John Boorman's 'Point Blank' and silent-era cinema. It's all physical catapulting mixed with slick visuals and precise detailing of action setpieces to make for probably the best action film of the past ten years. This scene just nails down that reason why.