Keanu Reeves might be the man, but even one of Hollywood’s most likable celebs has had his run in’s with failed films. The quintessential actor has given the world plenty of hits spanning nearly every genre trope. With action being a go-to role for the 57-year-old, franchises like The Matrix and John Wick are just the iceberg of his successful films in the trope. But Reeves has also boasted success in other genres like romance. He starred in the 2013 hit rom-com Somethings Gotta Give alongside Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, and Frances McDormand. With that being said, romance isn’t necessarily the lucrative actors’ forte, and one movie, in particular, his 2018 romantic thriller Siberia, is a perfect example of the type of movie the Speed veteran should probably avoid with a 10-foot pole. If you haven’t had a chance to catch the disastrous Hollywood flop beforehand, you can get your chance next month, as Siberia is set to land on Netflix on March 1st.
The 2018 film was directed by Matthew Ross, the film journalist who made his directorial breakthrough with 2016’s Frank & Lola. The story was written by Scott B. Smith, the man responsible for penning the story of A Simple Plan. Alongside Keanu Reeves, the film starred Ana Ularu (Outbound), Pasha D. Lychnikoff (No Escape), Molly Ringwald (The Kissing Booth), Rafael Petardi (Code of Honor), Aleks Paunovic (Cold Pursuit), Boris Gulyarin, Ashley St George, and Taran Vitt.
Keanu Reeves stars as Lucas Hill, an American diamond merchant dealing in smuggled goods. Hill travels to Russia to sell rare blue diamonds to the menacing gangster named (you guessed it) Boris. But as things turn awry in the jewel deal, Hill’s contact, and the man currently posing the diamonds, has gone missing. The movie takes off as Boris threatens Lucas to deliver the goods within 48 hours. And while the movie does pick up something Reeves is all too familiar with, the action sequences do little to save the film. We also can’t help but wonder if Reeves had an epiphany at some point of filming and gave up efforts of acting altogether.
Ultimately, Siberia proved to be a complete flop among both critics and moviegoers. On Rotten Tomatoes, the Keanu Reeves led film has a 12% rating from nearly 50 critics and a 16% rating with fans. Worth a look, critics of Siberia offered in-depth reviews of the film, calling it “unnecessarily boring”, making viewers “uncomfortably upset”, and containing a narrative “as bleak as the landscape.”
As terrible as Siberia may have turned out, it surprisingly was a passion project for Keanu Reeves. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Reeves revealed he was interested in the script’s emotional intimacy along with its humor. “You know, he’s married, he’s a diamond dealer, he ends up having an affair, he ends up falling in love, he’s trying to keep his world together and it’s falling apart. I liked all of the dramatic possibilities of that.” In fact, Reeve’s also revealed that he helped pen the screenplay based on the original story for the film. Obviously having a personal infatuation with the film’s ideals, it’s understandable that his passion for the film may have outweighed his wit in choosing a film with such a bleak narrative. Furthermore, Reeves even discussed his obsession with Russian culture, as he revealed to a Russian news outlet that he has studied the Russian language over his life.
Quite possibly, Keanu Reeves simply needs to stay clear of romantic movies. The man known for performing his own stunts has plenty of romance films under his belt. And to be honest, most of them were all flops. Sweet November-one of his more popular films in the genre- was another critical bomb for the actor. Similarly, his other 2018 Netflix romance, Destination Wedding suffered harsh ratings regardless of its star-studded lineup with Reeves and Winona Ryder.
With over 80 movies under his belt, Keanu Reeves’ career never suffers despite the negative setbacks. Reeves has lived a long successful career in Hollywood, starting with his breakthrough hit sci-fi comedy Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Reeves went on to star in acclaimed films and franchises such as Speed, Point Break, The Matrix, Constantine, and John Wick. To his success, Reeves has been nominated for numerous awards, including Peoples Choice Awards and Saturn Awards.
Showing no signs of slowing down, Keanu Reeves recently starred in reboots to some of his most popular franchises. 2020 brought back his free-spirited take on Ted with Bill and Ted Face the Music and another journey into the Matrix with 2021’s The Matrix Resurrections. Of his most recent successful action franchises, Reeves will return to the John Wick universe for the fourth installment in the action-packed series, set to release in 2024.