15. Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
There's really only one thing to talk about when discussing Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula—and that one thing is Keanu Reeves. Now, let me say right off the bat here that I have nothing against the guy. In fact, I suspect that he's actually a down-to-earth, affable sort of fellow with an underestimated intellectual capacity and probably a curious mind. In certain kinds of roles (i.e., Bill or Ted), I think his talents shine like a beacon in the night for all the downtrodden world to gaze upon in childlike wonder. And lately, his years of acting experience are finally paying off in dividends. (Did you see him in Thumbsucker?)
And yet... there are certain roles that Mr. Reeves seems poorly equipped to play. One of them, I think, would be a character in a Shakespeare play—but this didn't dissuade Kenneth Branagh from casting him as Don John, the brooding villain of Much Ado About Nothing. Thankfully, his scenes were few (and brief).
Now if I were Reeves' agent and there were many roles submitted to him, I would probably have the good sense to steer him away from period dramas and parts requiring an accent. But alas I am not and have never been his agent, and he was probably powerless to resist the gravitational pull of Francis Ford Coppola, even when the latter was just tarting up an old creaky vampire story...
Awww... see? Now I feel bad. Don't get all droopy and depressed, Keanu. You've starred in a lot of huge hit films—from Speed to The Matrix to Little Buddha... Okay, Little Buddha wasn't exactly a huge hit film, but you got to work with Bernardo fucking Bertolucci. What's Alex Winter done with his life? And the truth is—you didn't completely ruin Bram Stoker's Dracula. After a while, I got used to the idea of Jonathan Harker being a professional surfer who moved to London by way of the Valley. Hollywood is a world of make-believe, and if I'm expected to believe in that crappy spray-on gray they added to your hair in the movie, I guess I can believe in anything.
Watching this movie twenty years (!) later, I can't help thinking that your performance isn't all that bad, Keanu. (I mean, it's pretty bad, but it's not all that bad.) After all, I now live in a world where Leonardo Dicaprio is supposed to be a top-shelf actor—merely by virtue of his ability to scream, cry, and turn red in the face, resembling a cherry tomato on the end of a toothpick. In the curve that I have to grade on, you weren't terrible in Bram Stoker's Dracula—and I kind of like the movie... more than I remember liking it when I first saw it. I'm not saying you're the reason it charmed me, Keanu—but I'm still rooting for you after all these years...
After a while, I got used to the idea of Jonathan Harker being a professional surfer who moved to London by way of the Valley.ReplyDelete
Hee. I love the scene when Keanu is sitting at the count's dinner table and offends him by doing a Ted-like snort.
I love how Drac does his hair up in those double buns.Delete
We share the same forehead. I wonder if I could rock that look as well as he does.Delete
I'll give you sixty dollars Nigerian if you'll stop watching Dracula remakes.ReplyDelete
There are no more Draculas on the agenda. Please send the money order.Delete