Keanu

In this action thriller spoof Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele – hitherto best known for their Comedy Central sketch show Key and Peele – play a couple of mild-mannered ‘ordinary’ guys who become embroiled in gang-related crime. This happens because a drug dealer named Cheddar (Method Man) steals the cute kitten (the titular Keanu) that turned up at the door of recently-dumped stoner Rell (Peele) and … whatever; the point is two vaguely-nerdy friends aren’t gangsters but they must walk the walk and talk the talk in order to infiltrate Cheddar’s crew and get the cat back.

Keanu is smarter than the average comedy – though otherwise it shares the same limited technical ambition that has recently blighted the genre – and I’m led to believe it’s much funnier than many other recent movies with similar fish-out-of-water concepts, such as the Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart vehicle Get Hard (which I haven’t seen and probably never will see). Writers Peele and Alex Rubens play around with racial stereotyping and identity politics in an arch and witty fashion, they incorporate warm homages to a variety of different well-known movies and there are some good jokes relating to Key’s character’s love of George Michael, though the whole thing starts to run out of steam 30 or 40 minutes from the end. Keanu‘s first hour is entertaining, though, helped along by the main duo’s chemistry and some game supporting performances (including cameos by Keanu Reeves and Anna Faris, both playing versions of themselves).

Directed by: Peter Atencio.
Written by: Jordan Peele, Alex Rubens.
Starring: Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, Method Man, Tiffany Haddish, Will Forte, Luis Guzmán.
Cinematography: Jas Shelton.
Editing: Nicholas Monsour.
Music:
Steve Jablonsky, Nathan Whitehad.
Certificate:
15.
Running Time:
100.
Year:
2016.

Comments 10

  1. ckckred August 18, 2016

    Nice review Stu. I’m a huge fan of Key and Peele and really enjoyed this movie. Though like you said, it loses some steam in the final act, it is a solid comedy for sure.

    • Stu August 19, 2016

      Thanks Charles, much appreciated! I liked them here and it’s a shame that it tails off, but there were some good bits and although I haven’t seen many this is one of the better comedies I’ve seen in 2016.

  2. Jason August 19, 2016

    Good review. Keanu was one of the movies (to me) that fell through the cracks and I didn’t get to see it in theaters. I want to see it and will probably check it out after reading your review. Thanks!

    • Stu August 19, 2016

      Thanks Jason. I think it’s one of those that went under a lot of people’s radars and was gone within one or two weeks in most places. I only got to see it as I have an independent cinema locally that picks things up a month or two after the multiplexes get them. It’s worth a watch at home, for sure.

    • Stu August 20, 2016

      It’s quite good, but as with most sketch shows it can be a bit hit and miss at times. I haven’t seen loads though, just a few episodes online. The film’s certainly worth a go, but nothing groundbreaking!

  3. Mark Walker August 29, 2016

    Always wondered about this one, man. I dig your straight-to-point, concise review. It gives just enough for me to check it out. Didn’t know Keanu Reeves popped up. I’m assuming there must be some link with his name in title? What’s the deal there?

    • Stu August 29, 2016

      Cheers Mark! The cat in this is called Keanu, and the man himself does a little brief voiceover during a drug-tinged sequence. Nothing major from the big man.

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