Starring: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Tiffany Haddish, Method Man, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Jason Mitchell
Directed by: Peter Atencio
Written by: Jordan Peele, Alex Rubens
Rating: R Running Time: 1 hr. 38 min
Prior to seeing Keanu, my exposure to the comedic stylings of Jorden Peel and Keegan-Michael Key (Key and Peele) were limited to 3 videos I saw on YouTube. And I didn’t finish the third video.
Is it me? Have I become a curmudgeon at the young tender age of 44? Because I just don’t get why Hollywood keeps churning out these crappy comedies. Keanu, like 2014’s Tammy and Sex Tape, and 2015’s Hot Pursuit, take a somewhat humorous premise and talented cast, and contrives them into ridiculous situations that don’t make any sense. There’s no method to the madness, just a collection of ‘bits’ that don’t connect together to tell a story, let alone stay true to their real world setting, or thinly developed stereotyped characters.
The catalyst that sets this stupid film off, involves a recently dumped Rell Williams (Peele) bonding with a very cute stray cat, who he names Keanu. An idiotic mix up sees Keanu taken by local drug dealers, and Peele, along with his cousin, Clarence (Key) set out to infiltrate said drug dealers, led by a man called Cheddar (Method Man).
What follows reminded me a little of the movie, Stir Crazy (go rent it, it’s hilarious). When the two comedic giants (Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor) are placed in a holding cell, and try to act ‘bad’. As the scene develops, it’s clear the people they are trying to impress aren’t buying it (because they’re not morons) and the façade quickly fails. In Keanu, Key and Peele try to act out that first part of the scene, and stretch it out for the entire length of the movie. They’re clearly not the hard (‘bad’) “gangsta” types they’re pretending to be, but to keep the story moving, everyone they interact with has to buy into their act, which makes the supposedly street wise thugs, look incredibly stupid.
And that’s Keanu in a nutshell. Morons being moronic with other morons. A ridiculous set of plot twists that make no sense, acted out by two-dimensional stereotypes.
If you’re a fan of Key and Peele, you might enjoy this. Don’t expect anything to make sense though. Keanu is rated R for violence, drug use and nudity.
It’s sad when the most interesting thing on the screen is the kitten. But there it is. I liked the kitten.