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

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

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.