Keanu has a few movies coming out this summer! One of them, Siberia, dropped last week, bypassing the traditional theater route and appearing directly on digital with zero fanfare. You don’t need to still be paying off student loans on a film degree from USC to know that this does not bode well for the movie’s quality.
And alas, I cannot in good conscience recommend that you spend the $6.99 to watch Siberia from the comfort of your couch. My credibility as the most ardent Keanu fan in your life means everything to me, and you need to know that I don’t make blind endorsements of all his work. However! There is some additional information I can offer that may pique your interest. And if that happens, know that there are a lot of worse movies out there and maybe you do want to watch Siberia, after all.
Keanu is at a point in his career where he is attracted to movies that put a new spin on a traditional genre. He’d rather experiment and fail than have commercial success with something normal. Which means that a lot of his films are going to swing big and miss to varying degrees. He isn’t doing anything straight forward, so when you see ads for the forthcoming romcom with him and Winona, be aware that it will not be a normal romcom. But we’ll talk about that in August.
In Siberia, Keanu plays a very serious diamond expert.
A VERY serious one.
Siberia feels a lot like Waiting for Godot if Estragon were a diamond dealer and Vladimir were a Russian mobster. Keanu spends the whole movie trying to find his diamond dealing partner, Pyotr, who has the goods that the Russian mobster is waiting to buy. Along the way, he meets and beds a Russian lady who speaks perfect English because she worked for a travel agent in Australia before returning home to run the family business. I only made it halfway through the Eli Roth torture porn movie Knock Knock, but I’m pretty sure Siberia has more sex scenes than any other Keanu movie.
Given his exceptional fighting and survival skills in John Wick, it’s cool that this film doesn’t try to trade on that and just makes him a regular guy here.
Honestly, my main beef with the movie is how it ends, and I’d have to ruin the ending to explain why it annoys me. I’ll just say that when the credits rolled, I felt unsatisfied. My friend said he found it worthwhile as a slice of life, and that’s one way to look at it. Another perspective would be that this scene is a metaphor for the viewing experience:
So my pitch to you is this: Do you have warm feelings towards Keanu? Do you appreciate a film that is a little messy but not straight forward in its resolution? Do you have 104 minutes of precious life to gamble on watching a movie you might not like? If so, watch Siberia! If not, maybe take a pass on this one.