It’s a comparatively sunny day in Berlin, at least it’s not raining when Keanu Reeves leaves his hotel. He’s in the German capital to film John Wick: Chapter 4, the latest installment in the hit action franchise that unites fans of cute dogs and virtuoso brawls like no other.
Always on his heels: the gossip press, breathlessly commenting on each of his steps. Finally a real Hollywood celebrity in Germany again! Where is he going? Why is he smiling? And what does he have on the most recent photos actually in his Tupperware box?
I, on the other hand, have only one question: When does a futuristic luxury limousine rush through Keanu Reeves’ body?only to go up in flames? Sounds absurd, but the reason is simple: the video game Cyberpunk 2077.
What is Keanu Reeves doing in Cyberpunk 2077?
Cyberpunk 2077 is a role-playing game for PC, Playstation 4 and 5, as well as Xbox One and Xbox Series X / S. You slip into the skin of the self-created character V and have to deal with corrupt mega-corporations and malfunctioning cyberpunk implants on the streets of the futuristic Night City. I’ve spent over 100 hours with Cyberpunk 2077 and one person rarely left me: Keanu Reeves.
Keanu Reeves plays an aging rock star
He plays Johnny Silverhand, the singer of the legendary band Samurai. Through a chain of unfortunate circumstances, which I don’t want to spoil here, his personality is transferred to a kind of chip after his death – and it ends up in V’s head. No matter where we are in Night City, the bad-humored old rocker Silverhand is usually there, gives his mustard to our decisions or just stares into the distance, smoking sullenly. Every now and then Keanu Reeves’ character takes over our body and we experience the fucked up and dark world of Cyberpunk 2077 from his perspective.
This trailer reveals more about Keanu Reeves’ Johnny Silverhand
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Awesome open world game with a cyberpunk setting meets horny actors with a cyberpunk past. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Oh well. Everything turned out a little differently.
Cyberpunk 2077 got a violent shit storm when it was released
Because if there is one game that has had an all-out shit storm in the last few years, it is probably Cyberpunk 2077. First the long-awaited title was postponed several times, and then the end product was different than many had imagined. Some complained that decision-making options and game mechanics were promised that were missing in the finished game. Others had hoped for The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, just with neon lights and firearms. For most of them, a game that just works would probably have been enough.
Personally, I like Cyberpunk 2077. I’ve played through almost all possible endings and tears in my eyes more than once. Sometimes Keanu Reeves’ character and I were superb friends, sometimes he called me a disgusting sellout capitalist. But I had one problem too: those goddamn bugs.
Why Cyberpunk 2077 broke Keanu Reeves for me
You can even ride a roller coaster with Keanu Reeves in Cyberpunk2077
When actions in the game don’t work as they should, when cars suddenly explode or freshly beheaded opponents suddenly stand up and as happily chatting blood fountain shuffle away – then that’s a bug or glitch. Cyberpunk 2077 had loads of them when it was released. The game was almost unplayable, especially on older consoles such as the Playstation 4, and while I had comparatively few problems, there were countless absurd scenes that were forever burned into my brain.
The many bugs often involuntarily make scenes with Keanu Reeves weird
The constant presence of Keanu Reeves’ character, Johnny Silverhand, made him a huge part of my bug experience. A car falls from the sky? Quite likely it will end up on Keanu Reeves. The game is having trouble displaying objects? Guess which Hollywood actor is pulling hard on an invisible cigarette! Sometimes Johnny didn’t speak at all, even though his mouth moved. Sometimes he didn’t stop chatting even though my character was actually on the phone.
And with regard to the scenes in which you not only looked at the samurai singer, but played it yourself: There are only a manageable number of situations in which you can surprisingly get stuck with a character in a wall before you can no longer take them seriously takes.
After 100 hours of extreme experience, Johnny Silverhand from the game and Keanu Reeves’ as a real, living actor have become inseparable. When I recently watched Matrix again after years, I had the permanent feeling that I had to restart the film because Neo’s face freezes in the middle of a sentence. When colleagues talk enthusiastically about the news about John Wick 4, I think of John’s bum floating motionless in the air because the chair he’s sitting on has simply disappeared. Or all the extras run away from an explosion in complete synchronicity, as if they were in a particularly fucked-up musical with no vocal parts.
I’m sorry, Keanu Reeves. For real. But if I run into you on the street and run away in panic, it’s not you, it’s Cyberpunk 2077 – and those damn burning cars.
Podcast recommendation for fans of Keanu Reeves
In a special episode of the Moviepilot podcast Stream Flurry, we took a closer look at the Matrix trilogy and asked ourselves: Are the films still worthwhile almost 20 years later?
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Around two decades after it was released, you can currently stream the complete Matrix trilogy on Netflix. In anticipation of Matrix 4, Andrea Wöger and Matthias Hopf will tell you why a re-match of all three films is worthwhile and what there is to discover in the controversial Matrix sequels Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions.
How did you find Keanu Reeves in Cyberpunk 2077?