Keanu – 4 out of 5
For my dollar (which has my picture on it, by the way), Key & Peele is the best skit show that has ever come out. Sure, MadTV is fine because it gave us the guys and, granted, Saturday Night Live has its longevity and its legacy behind it but Key & Peele made some memorable moments and they knew how to end a sketch without the usual awkwardness seen every Saturday. So, when I heard these two funny guys were making their own movie called Keanu, I didn’t really need to see a trailer or even hear what the film was about because it was guaran-damned-teed that I was going to see it. Now that I finally got around to it since it came out on DVD, I have to say that these guys continue to bring the laughs and bring them in a huge way.
|Keanu is not a punk that hates Mondays. He makes Mondays his bitch!|
Upset over the fact his girlfriend broke up with him, Rell Williams (Jordan Peele) finds happiness again in the form of a stray cat that wanders up to his door one day. He names the cat Keanu and it seems like everything is going to be okay again but one day when he and his cousin Clarence Goobril (Keegan-Michael Key) come home, they are shocked to discover that Rell’s house was broken into and Keanu was stolen. Now the two men must act like gangsters and infiltrate a gang led by a man named Cheddar (Method Man), who is currently in possession of the cat, in order to get the happiness that Rell lost. Little did Rell realize that the cat once belonged to a drug lord and that drug lord was killed by two assassins calling themselves the “Allentown Boys” and those two killers have also claimed possession over the cat and they are also coming to find him and they will stop at nothing and will kill anyone who gets in their way.
|The Allentown Boys look intimidating but that robot animal in the background|
is just outright terrifying.
|I had that same face watching the latest presidential |
race. Ha ha, that's topical, amirite?
It’s a silly premise but it’s written by Jordan Peele and Alex Rubens (he wrote for the show as well as Community and Rick and Morty) and they take that premise and make it something fantastic and very funny. For the most part, the feature is the type of comedy heist film where identities become askew and it’s nothing that we haven’t seen before; however, what makes Keanu work is the brilliant performances from Key and Peele and the fact that everything they get into—and they get into some serious shit—is all over a kitten. That idea alone is hysterical but when you watch the very talented duo make their characters try to fit in with the gang—and these two characters do not belong in that world—is absolute comedic majesty. Their reactions, their timing, their everything perfectly conveys the characters fear of being around these dangerous types but also their determination to rescue the cat. Add in the fact that things just get crazier and crazier for these two in their journey and you have a film that kept me laughing pretty much from beginning to end.
The only real complaint I had over Keanu was the fact that there was times when the momentum would come to a screeching halt. For example, there was a moment where Rell and Clarence are separated while on a mission for the gang and they are both concurrently caught up in their own comedic ordeal. Both scenes are very amusing but there wasn’t the best rhythm of going back and forth due to each scene having their own unique flow. There would be a great sequence being delivered on one end that would cut to the other scene and momentum would have to rebuild itself due to each scene having their own pace and different comedic beats. This cut in momentum was seen in other areas of the film where there would be a great scene and it would be immediately followed by a much slower, sorta boring development sequence. These moments are rare but they did hurt the pace of the film for me.
|Seriously, these two are just masters at comedic reactions.|
Keanu has some minor problems that occasionally slow the story and comedy down but when this film is hitting all the right notes it is very funny and a whole lot of fun. There are also some great performances in smaller roles in the film from the likes of Luis Guzmán, Will Forte and even Keanu Reeves himself and that only adds to the movie’s rich comedy flavor. The film is ridiculous and silly and it’s what Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key do best. I love their show and wasn’t surprised to find that I enjoyed this as well—hell, they even offer up some references to their old skits in this one and that was just some fun icing on a hilarious cake. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I suddenly have a craving for cake.