Wednesday, May 4, 2016

[Review] Keanu

Sketch comedy sensations Key & Peele make the leap to the big screen with their first (and hopefully not last) feature, Keanu. It might sound crazy, but believe me when I say that this film is like a mashup of Scarface and Homeward Bound.

Rell (Jordan Peele) is down in the dumps after a recent breakup. One day, an adorable little kitten shows up at his doorstep and saves him. He names the precious furball Keanu (a sly reference to the action flick John Wick, in which Keanu Reeves annihilates a bunch of criminals who killed his dog). When Keanu goes missing, Rell and his uptight best bud Clarence (Keegan-Michael Key) are led to a gang boss who goes by Cheddar (played greatly by Method Man). From here, Clarence and Rell are sucked into a wild chain of events involving mistaken identities, an unfortunately named strip club Hot Party Vixens (HPV), drug deals gone wrong, and ruthless shootouts.

Seeing a hardened Method Man lovingly holding a tiny little kitty is worth the price of admission alone. It's also amusing to watch Key & Peele pretend to be stone cold assassins, only to nervously fret as they get deeper and deeper into their dirt. It's even funnier to think it's all over a cat. (To be fair, the cat is worth it.) Other hilarious highlights include Will Forte doofily playing a weed-dealing wanksta, and a coked out Anna Faris partying in her Hollywood mansion. Early in the film, Peele takes glorious calendar photos of Keanu recreating movie scenes from Mad Max: Fury Road, Point Break, and The Shining, to name a few. I want that calendar.

The laughs aren't always consistent, and some scenes stretch longer than they need to, but there's still enough humor to embrace this thing. Yes, it's ridiculous. And yes, a lot of the plot is driven by farcical coincidences, but what were you expecting form a movie whose promo poster is a kitten rocking gold chains and a bulletproof vest? The soundtrack is awesomely fitting too, boasting booming anthems from the likes of Kevin Gates and Future.

I'm definitely looking forward to whatever these guys come up with next.


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