Chemistry is huge. Don’t ever let anyone tell you differently. Chemistry between two stars — especially comedic stars — can be the difference a funny movie and a waste of time. Fortunately Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, aka Key and Peele, have enough chemistry to overcome any and all shortcomings their debut flick, “Keanu” might have.
Besides, isn’t about time, the buddy-comedy-action flick made a comeback? “Keanu” is a hilarious ride and it has everything to do with its stars, but as funny as they are, it’s that damn cat that steals the show and ultimately your heart.
It’s a sweet movie with a big heart, but don’t worry — this ain’t no kiddie flick. There are enough drugs and guns and violence and inappropriate humor to tickle your raunchiest funny bone. Let’s do this!
Why should I care about a movie about a dumb cat?
First, cats are awesome. And even if you’re dead inside, the titular star(s) of “Keanu” is sure to change your mind.
Who are heck are Key and Peele?
Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele form the dynamic comedy duo, probably most well-known for their Comedy Central sketch series, “Key and Peele.” You’ve no doubt seen Key in more mainstream stuff than his buddy, most notably in “Pitch Perfect 2” and his recurring role on “Parks and Rec.” But they’re both hilarious, and they co-wrote this movie along with their writing partner Alex Rubens, so if you’re already a fan of these guys and their show, you’ll love this movie because their fingerprints are all over this bad boy.
So, what is “Keanu” all about”?
Peele plays Rell, a dude that gets unceremoniously dumped by his girlfriend early on. Naturally, he’s depressed and unsure whether life is worth living until he meets little Keanu, the cutest damn kitten you’ve ever seen. When Rell’s apartment is ransacked by gangsters looking for his drug dealer neighbor, the cat goes missing, forcing Rell and Clarence to infiltrate a gang known as the Blips (they’re worse than the Bloods AND the Crips combined!) to retrieve the sweet little kitty.
Kittens and drug dealers?…sounds like an odd mix –
Yeah. It totally is. And that’s what makes this movie so much fun. It’s absolutely ridiculous, playing mostly as a fish-out-of-water scenario as Rell and Clarence are mistaken for some bad ass assassins. As they get more and more desperate to retrieve the cat, they find themselves starting to bond with their new drug dealing, gangster friends, even as it becomes more and more dangerous.
Isn’t that cat just the cutest?
Yes. Totally. I’m not even kidding. Keanu, the kitten, was played by over 7 different cats and kittens. No CGI animals here. This gangsta cat is hardcore method too. It at least looks like he does his own stunts. You’ve never seen anything as cute as little Keanu prancing through a cloud of methamphetamines while dodging bullets.
Enough about the cat! How about the rest of the cast?
Aside from Key and Peele, the cast is solid. Look for Jason Mitchell (Eazy-E from “Straight Outta Compton”) in a great supporting role as a gang banger who comes to appreciate the vocal talents of George Michael; Method Man kinda spoofing his role from “The Wire”; and the less I say about Anna Ferris, the better.
“Keanu” is a hilarious first effort from Key and Peele. It’s not groundbreaking and it’s not going to challenge your philosophies on drugs or gang on gang violence….but it’s a simple movie that works because of the chemistry between the comedy stars. It will make you laugh – a lot – and maybe even want to buy a kitten after the movie. Damn you, Keanu!
Directed by: Peter Atencio
Written by: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, and Alex Rubens
Starring: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Tiffany Haddish, Will Forte, and Method Man
MPAA rating: R for violence, language throughout, drug use and sexuality/nudity
Running time: 1 hour 38 mins.