One of the benefits comedians experience from presenting comedy in short form (Sitcom or Variety Show) is that if a few jokes fall flat, they can go unnoticed in a half hour format. When you’re making a feature-length film with risky humor, the wisecracks that don’t work can add up and become more noticeable over the extended time period. This was a big concern from fans and insiders when Keegan Michael-Key and Jordan Peele decided to leave their successful Comedy Central show Key & Peele to take their unique brand of humor to the big screen in the absurd Keanu.
If you have seen any of the marketing campaign or trailers, then you know Keanu revolves around a cute and cuddly kitten that gets everyone he snuggles up next to involved in a violent conspiracy. Jordan Peele plays Rell, a stoned slacker who adopts the little kitty and becomes distraught after the feline is kidnapped or should I say Kitten-napped by some street level gangsters. With the help of his strait laced suburbanite cousin Clarence (Keegan Michael-Key), the two nobodies set out to infiltrate the criminal underworld, which leads to some hilarious fish out of water laughs.
When it comes to Keanu, certain expectations need to be left at the door of the theater when you walk in. The film has an early 1990s feel with some of its pop culture references and a cast of characters from different walks of life shooting up the city all because of a little kitty. Keanu is downright stupid at times, but hiding under the layers of dumb is some brilliant comedy involving everything from strip club etiquette to face tattoos. Like much of Key and Peele’s past work on MAD TV and their self titled sketch show, some of the comedy does not work, but for the most part Keanu will keep you giggling even if the gags are dumb sometimes.
The comedic chemistry between Key and Peele has not wavered one bit with their move from TV to movies in Keanu. Seeing the partners in comedy become partners in crime creates some hysterical laughs with the two Average Joes becoming feared forces of evil even if they’re only doing the deeds to get their cat back. The jest captured on film includes a recurring George Michael theme starts out simple and then begins to grow on you creating some very funny moments. Like most comedies, Keanu has a hard time getting to the finish line in the third act, but the work from Key and Peele accomplishes what it is supposed to do. It makes you laugh.
Overall, I give Keanu 3 out of 4 stars.
Read all my reviews here–>Entertainment Now with T.M. Powell