Keanu

"Good"

Keanu Review


An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between grisly violence and silly slapstick. Thankfully, its central characters are played by the likeable Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, with able support from a range of up-for-it A-list supporting players. Plus perhaps the most adorable kitten ever put on film.

Key and Peele play Clarence and Rell, a family man and his stoner best pal living in suburban Los Angeles. Rell is wallowing in a recent breakup when he finds a cute little cat and adopts him, naming him Keanu. Then his house is burgled and Keanu is stolen. So he and Clarence team up to find the lost kitty. The problem is that their search leads them to vicious gang boss Cheddar (Method Man), who has fallen for Keanu's charms. When Rell and Clarence stumble into the gang's lair, they are mistaken for a pair of notorious hitmen, and decide to play along with it, straining to pose as vicious assassins in a series of escalating situations in which everyone is trying to kill everyone else.

This is a very clever play on the stereotype that every black man must be a violent thug. Rell and Clarence are nice guys from a relatively well-off neighbourhood trying with increasing desperation to mimic the vicious, street-smart goons they've seen in movies, which are their only point of reference. Along the way, they poke pointed fun at both urban crime thrillers and black subculture movies. Plus constant allusions to the career of Keanu Reeves, who even voices the kitten in a dream sequence. Key and Peele play these characters with a mixture of warm affection and dorky charm. And their interaction with the starry supporting cast is hilarious, from Cheddar's sharp henchwoman (Tiffany Haddish) to riotous cameos from the likes of Anna Faris, Will Forte and Luis Guzman.

But all of these expert scene-stealers don't have a chance opposite this painfully endearing little cat. And the loose plot always feels a little out of control, veering from one wacky set-piece to the next without much connectivity. This makes the movie feel very long, while the extreme violence begins to undercut the dopey goofiness. It's doubtful that the filmmakers realise that they are telling a story that enforces the idea that black subculture is so accustomed to gunplay that they take it as normal. So even if this movie is basically just engaging nonsense with a lot of heart, its darker edges tell another story.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for Keanu:



Keanu

Facts and Figures

Genre: Comedy

Run time: 100 mins

In Theaters: Friday 29th April 2016

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: New Line Cinema

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 77%
Fresh: 91 Rotten: 27

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Peter Atencio

Producer: , , Peter Principato, , Joel Zadak

Starring: as Clarence Goobril / Smoke Dresden, as Rell Williams / Oil Dresden, as Cheddar, as Hannah, as Hulka, as Bud, as Bacon, as Spencer, Tiffany Haddish as Hi-C, Ian Casselberry as King Diaz, as Alexis, as Herself, as Keanu (voice), Darrell Britt-Gibson as Trunk, Nadiyah Skyy Taylor as Galaxy

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Advertisement

New Movies

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.