In 2013, Reeves starred in his own directorial debut, the martial arts film Man of Tai Chi. The film has multilingual dialogue and follows a young man drawn to an underground fight club, partially inspired by the life of Reeves' friend Tiger Chen. Principal photography took place in China and in Hong Kong. Reeves was also assisted by Yuen Woo-ping, the fight choreographer of The Matrix films. Man of Tai Chi premiered at the Beijing Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival, and received praise from director John Woo. A wider, warm response followed suit; Bilge Ebiri of Vulture thought the fight sequences were "beautifully assembled", and Reeves showed restraint with the film editing to present the fighters' motion sequences. The Los Angeles Times wrote, "The brutally efficient shooting style Reeves employs to film master choreographer Yuen Woo-ping's breathtaking fights ... is refreshingly grounded and old-school kinetic", while Dave McGinn of The Globe and Mail called the film "ambitious but generic". At the box office, Man of Tai Chi was a commercial disappointment, grossing only $5.5 million worldwide from a budget of $25 million. Also in 2013, Reeves played Kai in the 3D fantasy 47 Ronin, a Japanese fable about a group of rogue samurai. The film premiered in Japan but failed to gain traction with audiences. Initial reviews were not positive, causing Universal Pictures to reduce advertising spending for the film elsewhere. 47 Ronin was a box office flop and was mostly poorly received.
In 1997, he starred in the supernatural horror The Devil's Advocate alongside Al Pacino and Charlize Theron. Reeves agreed to a pay cut of several million dollars so that the film studio could afford to hire Pacino. Based on Andrew Neiderman's novel of the same name, the feature is about a successful young lawyer invited to New York City to work for a major firm, who discovers the owner of the firm is a devil. The Devil's Advocate attracted positive reviews from critics. Film critic James Berardinelli called the film "highly enjoyable" and noted, "There are times when Reeves lacks the subtlety that would have made this a more multi-layered portrayal, but it's nevertheless a solid job".More Info
Following Speed, Reeves' next leading role came in 1995, in the cyberpunk action thriller Johnny Mnemonic. It is based on the story of the same name by William Gibson, about a man who has had a cybernetic brain implant. As part of the film studio's marketing efforts, a CD-ROM video game was also released. The film, however, received mainly negative reviews and critics felt Reeves was "woefully miscast". He next appeared in the romantic drama A Walk in the Clouds (1995), which also garnered mixed-to-negative reviews. Reeves plays a young soldier returning home from World War II, trying to settle down with a woman he married impulsively just before he enlisted. Film critic Mick LaSalle opined, "A Walk in the Clouds is for the most part a beautiful, well-acted and emotionally rich picture", whereas Hal Hinson from The Washington Post said, "The film has the syrupy, Kodak magic-moment look of a Bo Derek movie, and pretty much the same level of substance". Besides film work, Reeves retreated briefly back to the theatre playing Prince Hamlet in a 1995 Manitoba Theatre Centre production of Hamlet in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Sunday Times critic Roger Lewis believed his performance, writing he "quite embodied the innocence, the splendid fury, the animal grace of the leaps and bounds, the emotional violence, that form the Prince of Denmark ... He is one of the top three Hamlets I have seen, for a simple reason: he is Hamlet".More Info
In 2005, Reeves played the titular role in Constantine, an occult detective film, about a man who has the ability to perceive and communicate with half-angels and half-demons in their true form. The film was a respectable box office hit, grossing $230 million worldwide from a $100 million budget but attracted mixed-to-positive reviews. The Sydney Morning Herald's critic noted that "Constantine isn't bad, but it doesn't deserve any imposing adjectives. It's occasionally cheesy, sometimes enjoyable, intermittently scary, and constantly spiked with celestial blatherskite". He next appeared in Thumbsucker, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005. A comedy adapted from the 1999 Walter Kirn novel of the same name, the story follows a boy with a thumb-sucking problem. Reeves and the rest of the cast garnered positive critical reviews, with The Washington Post describing it as "a gently stirring symphony about emotional transition filled with lovely musical passages and softly nuanced performances".More Info
In 1992, he played Jonathan Harker in Francis Ford Coppola's Gothic horror Bram Stoker's Dracula, based on Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula. Starring alongside Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder and Anthony Hopkins, the film was critically and commercially successful. It grossed $215.8 million worldwide. For his role, Reeves was required to speak with an English accent, which drew some criticism; "Overly posh and entirely ridiculous, Reeves's performance is as painful as it is hilarious", wrote Limara Salt of Virgin Media. Recalling the experience in 2015, director Coppola said, "[Reeves] tried so hard ... He wanted to do it perfectly and in trying to do it perfectly it came off as stilted". Bram Stoker's Dracula was nominated for four Academy Awards, winning three in Best Costume Design, Best Sound Editing and Best Makeup. The film also received four nominations at the British Academy Film Awards.More Info
By 2002, his professional music career had come to an end when Dogstar disbanded. The band had released two albums during their decade together; Our Little Visionary in 1996 and Happy Ending in 2000. Sometime afterwards, Reeves performed in the band Becky for a year, founded by Dogstar band-mate Rob Mailhouse, but quit in 2005, citing a lack of interest in a serious music career. After being absent from the screen in 2002, Reeves returned to The Matrix sequels in 2003 with The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, released in May and November, respectively. Principal photography for both films was completed back-to-back, primarily at Fox Studios in Australia. The Matrix Reloaded garnered mostly favourable reviews; John Powers of LA Weekly praised the "dazzling pyrotechnics" but was critical of certain machine-like action scenes. Of Reeves' acting, Powers thought it was somewhat "wooden" but felt he has the ability to "exude a charmed aura". Andrew Walker, writing for London Evening Standard, praised the cinematography ("visually it gives full value as a virtuoso workout for your senses") but he was less taken by the film's "dime-store philosophy". The film grossed $739 million worldwide.More Info
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