By Colin Campbell

When it comes to accents and just plain sucking at them, no one hits or misses quite like Keanu Reeves.  It started over a quarter of a century ago and by now everyone has chimed in on either how bad Keanu Reeves’ British accent was in movies like Dracula or how it was abandoned altogether in Much Ado About Nothing a year later.  Perhaps you take the high ground and praised his finely tuned San Dimas accent which won us over in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and hope no one remembers Youngblood.  Fans of the very popular anime series, Cowboy Bebop, were outraged to hear Reeves would be playing the lead, Spike Segal.  Not only would he be twenty years older than the character, they were just as upset to see Keanu Reeves get yet another starring role in a Sci-Fi/Fantasy film.  Tired of being spoon fed the same actors again and again and known for being downright vicious in their criticism… it’s my firm believe that someone up high knew it wouldn’t be long before they’d turn their attention to another similar young actor just begging for crucifixion.  What’s important to remember is that even the harshest scrutiny of anyone in Hollywood only adds to their popularity.  In a Hollywood cliché older than Keanu: There is no such thing as bad press.

Who the fans found was someone who originally inspired ill will in them during early years in child roles and later went on to make us continuously say “No” as we witness Spielberg’s overuse of him.  But the real bait on the hook was watching him play sidekick to Keanu Reeves’ in a little Sci-Fi film called Constantine which many still contend would be a far better film without those two in it.  Chaz Kramer, who’s delightful-to-watch death spawned a new term in the Urban Dictionary, was played by America’s New Favorite Punching Bag… Shia LaBeouf.  Even haters of the film regard it as the finest scene in the movie simply because you get to see his smug little face get pounded into the ceiling right after he tries to talk tough like his mentor.  Once his body goes limp, it plops back down to the floor where we see an equally limp reaction from Keanu.  It hasn’t stopped there for Shia, who plays both lead and supporting roles so horribly that you get a negative reaction when prompted to sympathize with his character’s plight.  In essence, you actually want to see him killed, and cheers are known to erupt when it happens.  I knew it wouldn’t be long before we unleashed our rage on the actor himself.

It started with YouTube montages of his work or drunk and disorderly scenes at play.  Shia’s loose tongue got attention when me mentioned not liking video games on the Wii console even though Transformers was spending millions developing a game for the system at that time.  Reporters began to hang on LaBeouf’s every word, hoping he’d say something else out of line.  He’d been honest about some of his previous films because anything else would sound contrived, no doubt fueled by the barrage of harsh criticism coming from the media and internet.  In an attempt to somehow legitimize his work and at the same time distance himself from it, he made some comments about Steven Spielberg’s direction which I won’t even bother quoting now.  A few years ago I’d have been happy to tell you just how horrible of an actor he is, but now I’m starting to think I’m just playing into the industry’s hands if I do.  Shia LaBeouf has already become the second most popular “Shia” is search engine results, with nothing less than fanatical Shia Muslims preventing his dominance as the first.

Shia couldn’t be sold to us as John Constantine’s sidekick or as a hero working side by side with robots in disguise.  Fans scoffed at the very concept of a “next generation” Indiana Jones long before the horrible franchise-killing monster of a film was released.  The backlash was so severe it sent a very clear message the public was sick and tired Hollywood fluff remakes and of Shia LaBeouf.  However, instead of scrapping a few rewritten scripts and a multi-picture contract, the Hollywood machine instead continues to force feed us Shia again the only way we’ll digest him… as a target.  Much like Freddy Krueger, the only way to defeat him is to turn your back and convince yourself he doesn’t exist.  Yet here we are, eating it up as the latest piece of gossip, debating his right to an opinion versus his duty to respect Spielberg and his “work.”  In the next weeks we’ll either hear him apologize or get another soundbite of his newest opinion, anything to keep the name active.  If none of that works, maybe they’ll cast him in Cowboy Bebop.

Either way, I’ve done my part and you won’t be reading any more articles from me about the guy… hopefully, you won’t be looking for any, either.

Shia montage of suck: