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Tuesday, March 09, 2021 

Keanu Reeves emphasizes writing "stylized" violence

The Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Washington has an article first published in the Wash. Post covering actor Keanu Reeves' entry to comics scripting, BRZRKR, and as expected, they sure seem to love sugarcoating one of the leading themes:
On a morning Zoom interview from Los Angeles last week, Reeves pithily recounts that meeting of like minds: “They went, ‘Comic book.’ I went: ‘Yeah! Why not? That sounds amazing!’”

And just like that, the man who has long performed on soundstages and rock ’n’ roll stages decided to dive into something new. Reeves has published beautiful art books – and even played a comics-sprung detective of the occult (“Constantine”) – but nowhere on his four-decade resume was a credit as a comic book author.

That changes this week with Wednesday’s release of the first issue ”BRZRKR” (pronounced Berzerker), a limited 12-issue series co-created with Matt Kindt and artist Ron Garney. The comic, centering on a raven-locked title assassin who unleashes hyper-stylized violence with supernatural ability, stirs comparisons with Reeves’s own cinematic battlers, including Neo in the “Matrix” movies and title fighter John Wick in that high body-count franchise. But Boom! says its comic series will blaze a different trail.

Stephen Christy, the studio’s president of development, points to Reeves’s pitch: “He said: ‘I’ve done kung fu in ‘The Matrix.’ I did ‘gun fu’ in ‘John Wick.’ And now I want to create a whole new hyperviolent style of fighting with ‘BRZRKR.’“

The first issue’s bloody hand-to-hand combat, so visceral and viscous, spares no crimson ink. As this 80,000-year-old fights his way across the epochs while trying to uncover personal truths, he embodies Reeves’s vision: “I had an impression of a guy in a Viking kind of battle who could punch people’s chests and their backs and rip people’s arms off.”
Yup, just what I thought. It's not enough to say he loves the premise of a guy who could "kick serious butt", knock the villains spinning like wheels across a wide room, or into the middle of next week with a blow to the shoulder's sensitive area to render them unconscious. The description has to emphasize gore galore on a level even the Matrix and John Wick couldn't hold a candle to. If this is what the market's amounting to these days, ditto the press coverage, that's just not good, as a lot of brighter, more optimistic tales with wilder themes of entertainment than this and a sense of humor get obscured for the sake of the MSM's politically correct beliefs for what makes the greatest showbiz. This is one of a number of problems bringing down the entertainment medium.

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