Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story 4 makes its long-awaited arrival on 21st June, and there's a new toy on the block. He comes in the form of vintage daredevil doll Duke Caboom and is voiced by none other than John Wick himself, Keanu Reeves. Here's why Duke is set to steal Woody’s thunder in the latest animated adventure...
He’s daring, he’s dashing, he’s Canadian
Of course, this being a Toy Story film, we’re excited to see our returning favourites once more, including Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and the gang. But a new adventure also means some new faces and there’s plenty to get excited about.
When Woody winds up stranded in an antique store with new homemade toy Forky (Tony Hale), he meets some faces both familiar (former girlfriend Bo Peep, voiced by Annie Potts), and unfamiliar. The latter is represented by daredevil stunt cyclist Duke Caboom and as the TV spot below shows, he is also proudly Canadian.
With Woody facing down a new nemesis in the form of sinister doll Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) and her army of terrifying ventriloquist dummies, he’s going to need all the help he can get, and it looks like Duke Caboom is going to have a big role to play in saving the day. After all, he does his own stunts and has a variety of impressive poses…
He’s voiced by Keanu Reeves
Not content with smashing the box office as unstoppable hitman John Wick, Keanu Reeves is also the man behind the moustache and the voice of Duke Caboom. That unmistakable gravelly voice seems to be absolutely made for this part, but that’s not where the similarities end. Also Canadian and a real-life motorcycle enthusiast, it appears there is a lot of Keanu Reeves in this character, and already he seems to be completely enamoured with Duke Caboom.
According to director Josh Cooley, in his initial meeting with Reeves, he was so excited about playing him that he jumped up onto the table to act him out. Combine Reeves’s penchant for stunts, as seen in John Wick and The Matrix, with his obvious passion Toy Story, and it seems that he is the perfect fit for the role.
You know you’re going to fall in love with a character when he comes with a ready-made catchphrase, and that is certainly the case with Duke Caboom. Even before the film’s release this seems to be catching on, and in a recent interview Reeves was keen to throw it out at every opportunity.
What does it mean? Does it matter? "Caboom" is universal, it can be used in any situation and it is sure to catch on once the film hits our screens. To infinity and CABOOM!
He has a big heart
Beneath the bravado, Duke has a bit of a sad story, and this being a Pixar film, you can expect it’ll make you sob. Reeves told Entertainment Weekly that Duke Caboom harbours a deep sense of regret and guilt, disappointed that he let his child owner down when he wasn’t able to perform the stunts that his TV commercial promised. Despite the posing and posturing, it seems Caboom has a big heart and just wants to feel like the hero he knows he can be.
The critics love the character
Toy Story 4 is already being hailed as a new Disney-Pixar classic, and a lot of that is apparently down to Duke Caboom. "Keanu Reeves steals it all" raves Slashfilm’s Jacob Hall while The Playlist’s Griffin Schiller enthuses, "Duke Caboom RULES! More Keanu please."
Click here to book your tickets for Toy Story 4 and see Keanu Reeves in action on 21st June.
Sarah Buddery is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.