Every Keanu Reeves & Tiger Chen Movie
Keanu Reeves and Tiger Chen have collaborated on numerous movies, beginning with The Matrix - we rundown each movie they've worked together on.
Keanu Reeves has worked frequently with Chinese martial artist and stuntman Tiger Chen, the two collaborating in varying roles on numerous movies. With The Matrix Resurrections arriving in theaters and HBO Max, Reeves returns to one of his most recognized roles as Thomas Anderson, or as he’s better known, Neo. The Matrix franchise, in its early beginning in the late ’90s, was also where Reeves began working with Tiger Chen.
Hailing from Sichuan, China, Tiger Chen took up Wushu as a child, and later moved into competition on the Sichuan Wushu Team. Chen subsequently entered stunt work and fight choreography, having worked on such movies as Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Charlie’s Angels, and Kill Bill Vol. 1. As his career went on, Chen landed more significant roles in action films like the Chinese movie Kung Fu Hero, and achieved his big break with 2013’s Man of Tai Chi. Additionally, Chen was also behind the concept of the martial arts ensemble action film Triple Threat, as well.
The movies that Reeves and Chen have made together have some of the most significant in both of their respective careers. As Tiger Chen has become more and more of a rising martial arts star, it’s no surprise that he and Reeves continue to work together, the two even often having fight scenes with each other. Here’s every Keanu Reeves & Tiger Chen to date.
Reeves and Chen’s first movie together was 1999’s The Matrix, which introduced Reeves as the messianic hero Neo. Chen worked as a stuntman in the film, and also was instrumental in training Reeves for Neo’s superhuman abilities as the One. The Wachowskis even used Chen as a model of sorts in preparing the cast for the movie’s wire-fu driven fight sequences, with all of the principals undergoing six months of martial arts training for the film. Though Tiger Chen isn’t prominently seen in The Matrix, he was a key player in the film coming together as well as it did nonetheless, while Reeves’ training and that of the rest of the cast was one of the many elements of The Matrix that turned it into a cultural phenomenon.
The Matrix Reloaded/Revolutions
The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions were filmed back-to-back, with Reeves reprising his role as Neo and Chen returning as a stuntman for both films. Reloaded is where Chen is most visible on-screen in the original trilogy, portraying one of the henchmen of the sinister villain known as The Merovingian (Lambert Wilson). After the Merovingian is offended at the notion that Neo will “handle us“, Chen alongside his cohorts battles Neo in the movie’s Chateau fight scene, with Neo and his enemies wielding an assortment of weapons against each other. Chen is the last of the henchmen to meet his end when Neo brings down a large spiked mace on him, but his and Reeves’ working relationship would continue after this.
Man Of Tai Chi
Keanu Reeves re-teamed with Tiger Chen for Reeves’ 2013 directorial debut Man of Tai Chi, with the Chinese-American co-production also introducing Chen as a leading man in the Western world. Chen portrays the film’s protagonist, also named Tiger Chen, a Tai Chi practitioner in Beijing whose temple is at risk of demolition — until Chen gets the chance to earn some big money competing in underground fights for Hong Kong-based businessman Donaka Mark (Reeves).
Though Chen’s match with Iko Uwais of The Raid movies shortchanges them both, the fight scenes of Man of Tai Chi are masterfully assembled by the great Yuen Woo-ping, and really showcase Chen’s talents as a martial artist to its fullest extent. Reeves and Chen also face one another in the final showdown, the pair’s most intricate fight sequence yet. While Man of Tai Chi brings a few nebulously defined techniques into play, it’s nonetheless a thoroughly entertaining kung fu flick that shows Reeves’ talent as a director.
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Released just two months after Chen’s central role in Triple Threat, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum brought he and Reeves on-screen together again in one of several fight scenes that make up the movie’s opening action sequence. Picking up right where John Wick: Chapter 2 left off, John is now a marked man with a bounty on his head and no refuge to be found in the assassin safe house of the Continental. Chen appears as a member of a gang of assassins John encounters in New York City’s Chinatown, pursuing John for the price his death brings in a fast-paced knife battle, the gang also includes Chen’s fellow stunt veteran Roger Yuan. While Chen’s role is minor, and ends painfully with a blade right in his eye, it’s nonetheless a joy for action fans to see the two in a battle of knives with kung fu and judo techniques.
The Matrix Resurrections
Keanu Reeves returns as Neo once more for The Matrix Resurrections, and Tiger Chen also rejoins the franchise in a role that places him opposite Reeves. Resurrections takes Neo back to the beginning of learning what the Matrix is and his dormant powers to bend the reality of it. The Keanu Reeves movie is a soft reboot of sorts: Neo is Thomas Anderson, a video game developer who created a series of games based on his faint memories of being Neo. Chen plays M.O.T.C., and has a memorable fight scene in Resurrections.
With Resurrections marking the sixth movie Chen and Reeves have worked on together, it’s also their fourth fight scene, and like the story of the movie itself, also brings Reeves and Chen back to where they first started. Whether as a team of director and leading man, on-screen opponents, or simply training for action roles, Keanu Reeves and Tiger Chen have done a lot of great work together in both The Matrix franchise’s saga and other action films. Hopefully, they’ll continue to collaborate on future projects with the skills both bring along with the talent they have working in tandem with each other and showing what they can do in their great fight scenes together.