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

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

Advertisement
City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

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.