Movie Review: Keanu (2016)

Posted: October 8, 2016 in Comedy
Tags: ,


Rell Williams (Jordan Peele) has just broken up with his girlfriend.  His cousin, Clarence Goobrill (Keegan Michael Key) wants to cheer him up, but before he gets there, Rell sees a cat at his doorstep.  He names the cat Keanu, and suddenly everything seems better for Rell.  But after Clarence and Rell come home from a movie, Rell finds his house ransacked and Keanu missing.  Rell goes to the local pot dealer, his next door neighbor, Hulka (Will Forte) and asks who tore apart his house, and took Keanu.  Hulka says the cat is with a notorious drug dealer named Cheddar. (Method Man) Will Rell and Clarence risk their lives by getting involved with Cheddar and his gang, all for the sake of a cat named Keanu?

Let me say straight out that I’m a big fan of Key and Peele, their show on Comedy Central is hilarious.  This movie starts off very funny, because Clarence and Rell are two black people living in the suburbs, Clarence is especially bland, so there’s  a fish out of water quality to the humor, and it works for a while, but then Keanu goes the way of all Hollywood movies and becomes a movie full of violence, and car chases, and so the car chases and shootings become filler, and Key and Peele shouldn’t rely on filler, as funny as they are.  There’s an underdeveloped romance between Rell and a woman named Hi-C, and everything is wrapped up a little too neatly in the end.  This movie reminds me of Let’s Do It Again, with Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier, two unsuspecting guys caught up with two rival gangs.  Let’s Do It  Again was much funnier than Keanu, which runs out of material long before it ends.

Good performances by Key and Peele, a suburbanites pretending to be gangsters.I just wish there was more jokes and less violence.  Will Forte is also funny as a white drug dealer with dreadlocks and a blackcent. Nia Long is in this movie briefly as Key’s wife, and Method Man is very low-key as Cheddar. He’s more of a rapper than an actor. There are some interesting cameos, but this is basically a movie where Key and Peele have to carry the movie, and the rest of the characters and actors are not that interesting.

There is nothing noteworthy about the direction, the pacing is slow and the runtime is too long, but the director did direct the Key and Peele television show, so he’s familiar with their style at least.

Keanu:  Not a cat-astrophe but not great either.



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