Since the release of John Wick in 2014, Keanu Reeves has managed to skyrocket out of Hollywood obscurity and back into the spotlight. The resurrected star began his career on TV in the early 80s (even starring on The Tracy Ullman Show) before landing his big role as Ted Theodore Logan in 1989’s Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and took on some more independent films along the way. Then, he hit the beginnings of what would be his action star stride in movies like Speed and The Matrix

After the Matrix trilogy came to a close in 2003, blockbuster success dimmed a bit for Reeves, but he always stayed busy and delivered several under the radar movies during the process.

Regardless of the popularity (or lack thereof) of the individual movies, Reeves has a strong list of badass roles that he’s portrayed over the last 20-plus years. He separates himself from other action stars by completely capturing the essence of the character. If you’ve seen him flexing his mastery with a sword, whipping out some martial arts, or even riding a motorcycle at what seems to be Mach speed, rest assured that he put the work in to deliver that authentic performance. (He’s also an avid motocyclist and co-founded his own bike company, Arch.)

Take a look at a few of the roles that have given Keanu Reeves our badass stamp of approval.

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