After the monstrous hit, The Matrix, Reeves career slowed down a bit and he got more choosey with his roles, plus he was busy filming the two massive and concurrently made Matrix sequels in the early 2000s. Oddly enough, though there were a lot of guns in them, Reeeve’s Neo did use any in The Matrix: Reloaded or The Matrix: Revolutions.
The Gift (2000)
First up is The Gift is a bit of strange once. It’s a thriller directed by Sam Raimi, written by Billy Bob Thorton and Tom Epperson based on an alleged psychic experience had by Thorton’s mother.
In something of an ensemble cast, Reeves stars along with Cate Blanchett, Giovanno Ribisi, Hilary Swank, Katie Holmes, and Greg Kinnear.
The film focuses on Annie (Blanchett, who becomes involve din a murder case as a result of acquiring accurate knowledge about the particulars of the crime through extrasensory perception.
She informs a local sheriff about her visions, and despite his skepticism, he searches a pond at the home of Donnie Barksdale (Reeves), the violent husband of one of Annie’s clients. It’s one of the first times Reeves has played against type, as Donnie is essentially a jerk bad guy.
The police find a corpse in the pond and Donnie is arrested for murder, but that’s just the beginning of the story.
Though there aren’t many guns in this movie, Reeves does get one of them.
During a confrontation with Buddy Cole (Ribisi), Barksdale pulls a snub-nose Smith & Wesson Model 66 revolver chambered in .357 Magnum with black rubber grips.
The gun is the newer variant of the Model 66, which you can tell from the slanted cylinder release.
The Watcher (2000)
In another dark turn and with both lead actors playing against type, Keanu Reeves is the antagonist in Watcher while James Spader plays the FBI Agent protagonist who is on the trail of a serial killer. The killer, David Griffin (Reeves), likes to taunt Campbell (Spader) with phone calls, which fills him with guilt that manifests itself as crippling migraines.
As an FBI Agent, Campbell carries a Glock 17 pistol in 9mm. Later, he gives the gun over to Griffin, who uses it to hold him hostage until Campbell ends up shooting him with a double barrel shotgun.
Campbell’s handgun is nearly accurate. In 2000, FBI agents would have been carrying Glocks, but they would have been Glock 22 or Glock 23 pistols in .40 S&W, not G17s in 9mm.
In 2005, Reeves starred in Constantine, a comic book adaptation movie that was made just before it became really bankable to do comic book movies. Thought it didn’t do great at the box office, it wasn’t a flop and is a really entertaining flick.
The titular John Constantine had psychic abilities as a child, which mostly tortured him with visions of ghosts and demons. He tried to commit suicide and was technically dead for a period, during which he visited Hell. The experience enhanced his powers, but unfortunately, he also learned that because he committed suicide, his soul was doomed to hell.
He decides to hunt the demons and ghosts that he sees, exorcising them to hell, in a desperate bid to make up for his own sin and save himself from damnation. He uses a variety of tools to accomplish this, which all have a very Catholic old-school flair. But his time is running out. An avid smoker, he’s dying of lung cancer, and Hell is getting closer.
One of Constantine’s bigger weapons, dubbed the Holy Shotgun, is constructed from Holy Relics and fires gold rifled slugs encased in engraved 12 gauge sized shells.
John also mounts the Dragon’s Breath flamethrower under the barrel. The gun underneath all the glitter is based on the Armsel Striker 12/SWD StreetSweeper shotgun, but not actually built on one.
The gun fires from ornately engraved drum magazines that can be detached for quick reloads, as we see in the movie. It’s entirely a prop gun, but based on real ones enough that it feels like it could be real. And it’s pretty damn cool too.
A Scanner Darkly (2006)
This famous flop was ambitious in its scope and based on a novel of the same name by Philip K. Dick, whose writings were also the basis for Bladerunner.
It’s about identity and deception in a near-future dystopia that is plagued by high-tech police surveillance int he midst of a drug addiction epidemic. To get its unique cell-shaded look, the film was shot digitally and then animated using interpolated rotoscope, an animation technique in which animators trace over the original footage frame by frame.
In one scene, Bob Arctor (Reeves), an undercover cop, reflexively draws a Beretta 92FS from under his bed when he hears Barris (Robert Downey Jr.) test out a silencer for the latter’s revolver, which doesn’t work so well. He never actually fires the gun. In the book, Arctor carries a “.32 police-special revolver,” which he keeps under his pillow.
Street Kings (2008)
In 2008, Reeves made a return to action heavy thrillers when he starred in the hard boiled cop LA cop movie Street Kings directed by David Ayer, the writer of Training Day and the director of Harsh Times. He plays Detective Tom Ludlow, a longtime member of the LAPD and an alcoholic who often breaks the rules. He finds himself questioning the choices he’s made in his professional career, some of which led to the death of his former partner.
While on duty, Ludlow carries a Smith & Wesson 4506-1 pistol as his sidearm. Although you can’t see it in the movie, the 4506 he uses has a pair of snake eyes dice and “Vice Special” printed on the right side of the slide between the ejection port and the muzzle.
This prop gun was later used in several episodes of the TV series Dark Blue, which had similar themes and setting, plus the same armorer.
Lundlow most notably uses the S&W at the beginning of the movie to take down a group of Korean slavers. This is one of the first movies where its evident Reeves has gotten some fresh firearms training. His stance, grip, and reload techniques are all spot on and way less Hollywood than they were in previous movies.
As his personal, off-duty firearm, Ludlow carries a Colt MK IV Series 80 .45 ACP pistol.
The gun is heavily customized with raised adjustable sights, a beavertail grip safety, combat hammer, extended ambidextrous slide stop, extended slide release, beveled magazine well, stainless barrel, and a long type combat trigger. The magazines he uses with it all have aftermarket buttpads.
The same gun was later carried by Dylan McDermott in Dark Blue and by Cole Hauser in Chase.
During the convenience store assassination/robbery, we see that Ludlow carries a stainless Charter Arms Off Duty hammerless snub-nose revolver has his back-up gun. He checks the cylinder and we can see it’s loaded with .38 Special hollowpoint ammunition.
When confronted with Freemont and Coates carrying full-auto submachine guns, Ludlow draws his revolver, as it’s the only thing he has on him, and fires all five shots, one of which accidentally strikes Washington (Terry Crews) in the right shoulder.
The thug Kim (Walter Wong), one of the Korean slavers, carries a Kahr M9098 Elite 2003, which is the smallest of the company’s 9mm pistols with a 3-inch barrel.
After the raid on the house, Ludlow takes the Kahr K9, which he’d barely drawn before being gunned down. He uses Kim’s hand to fire two shots into the door to make it look like he shot first, making it a clean shoot for him in the eyes of the department.
John Wick (2014)
In 2014, Reeves created a new action icon as the titular character in John Wick. At the start, he’s a retired elite assassin who has given up the lifestyle so he could marry the woman he fell in love with and live in peace. His wife dies from an untimely illness and leaves him alone in a new life. When he’s at his lowest, a deliver person brings a package sent from his late wife. It’s a puppy that he instantly bonds with and uses as a comfort so he can grieve.
Soon after, a group of three thugs, one of whom is the sun of a Russian mob boss in New York City, spot John in his distinctive and gorgeous 1969 Boss 429 Ford Mustang, which he is extremely attached to. After being slightly snubbed by John at a gas station, the thugs follow him home, break in while he’s asleep, beat him with a bat, kill his dog, and steal his car. He wakes up, and sets about taking out his pain on the men who have wronged him, and anybody else in his way, as he dives back into the secret guild of assassins he once broke away from.
Since there are so many guns in the two extant Wick movies (with a third on the way), and we’ve covered them already, here are links to our rundowns of the guns in all of the John Wick movies!