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The Keanu Reeves Sci-Fi Thriller That Deserves A Second Look

Over the years, Keanu Reeves has played a vast array of characters in a variety of unique feature films. The actor has starred in so many titles that it isn't hard to fathom that a few gems may have slipped through the cracks, and if one looks closely, there are most assuredly certain titles that very well may be worth revisiting.

Out of all of his credits on IMDb, the talented star is most assuredly known for roles like Neo in the "Matrix" films, the titular assassin in the "John Wick" movies, and half of the tubular duo from the "Bill and Ted" franchise. In addition, Keanu Reeves has some serious street cred in the action genre, especially with his early roles in "Speed" and "Point Break." But his other sci-fi experience is also worth noting, with flicks like "Constantine" and "The Day the Earth Stood Still" on his resume. He has even surprisingly starred in more small-screen roles than many fans might realize. 

Some of Reeves' onscreen personas are arguably more lethal than others, and certain personalities resonate better with fans. That's why some of his work doesn't get the credit it deserves, but there are fans of Keanu's career who firmly believe that one of the titles in his eclectic filmography is absolutely worth a second look.

A Scanner Darkly is an underrated sci-fi flick

"A Scanner Darkly" is a 2006 animated psychological thriller directed by Richard Linklater and based on the novel written by Philip K. Dick. The impressive cast includes Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey, Jr., Woody Harrelson, and Winona Ryder. In the film, Reeves plays Bob Arctor, an undercover agent in the not-too-distant future where 20% of the people walking the streets are addicted to the drug Substance D. Arctor is tasked with infiltrating the criminal underworld and investigating the drug's supply lines. In the process, he, unfortunately, loses his grip on reality resulting in a mind-bending affair that some fans believe is one of the prolific actor's most underrated projects.

On Reddit, u/Savings_Reputation wrote, "A Scanner Darkly is the most overlooked Keanu Reeves movie, change my mind." Other users agreed that the movie has hidden gem status written all over it, like u/theendisonapizza, who wrote, "Honestly it's one of the only movies to stay faithful to a Philip K. Dick book. I think it's a fantastic film and the rotoscope they do I think, adds to the overall movie. Plus they pulled in an A+ cast for a movie that went into cult status." u/cofeeNik added, "It's an overlooked movie period. It's great," and u/richardhungwel also agreed, saying it's "Very underrated. With a great cast."

While the riveting movie may not be a colossal hit like Reeves' other franchises, certain fans seem to recognize its excellence. And they aren't the only ones with excellent things to say about "A Scanner Darkly."

Keanu and critics were blown away by A Scanner Darkly

Keanu Reeves has worked on some outstanding projects over the years, and it's no surprise what drew him to "A Scanner Darkly." In an interview where Reeves was promoting the film with Richard Linklater (via YouTube), the actor discussed what drew him to the project. Reeves said, "Great story, great material, great characters to play, told in an original kind of way. The ambitions of the film were very ambitious... The way the film is shot, what it did, the ideas that are kind of being presented in the film, are very ambitious."  The actor was willing to take a very bold risk which seems to have paid off as critics also were entertained by the thought-provoking motion picture.

While it didn't receive universal acclaim, certain reviews reflected the film's strengths. The consensus of the critics on Rotten Tomatoes reads, "A faithful adaptation of Philip K. Dick's novel, 'A Scanner Darkly' takes the viewer on a visual and mind-blowing journey into the author's conception of a drug-addled and politically unstable world." More specifically, Carina Chocano from the Los Angeles Times also pointed out that "the brilliance of [the film] is how it suggests, without bombast or fanfare, the ways in which the real world has come to resemble the dark world of comic books."

There is no denying that "A Scanner Darkly" holds a special place in the hearts of fans, and the cult following will never let the animated adaptation be forgotten. While many will remember Reeves for playing Neo and John Wick, a proud few will never forget the sacrifice of Bob Arctor.