HOLLYWOOD—Ok, who would ever expect a movie about a kidnapped cat to deliver bellyaches, and I mean bellyaches of laughs? I never did, but the comedy “Keanu” starring “Key and Peele” creators Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele puts their unique spin on comedy that has never been seen.
Of course, most of you already know the premise, which involves Rell (Peele) who has just broken up with his girlfriend. To deal with the emotional trauma of a relationship gone kaput, Rell discovers an abandoned cat on his doorstep and takes the feline in as his own. He immediately grows fond of the little one, as does his cousin Clarence (Key). Clarence can be described as uptight and a bit out of his element in most social settings, whereas Rell is more open in public.
It’s a chance outing to a see a Liam Neeson flick of all movies that pushes the narrative in this comedy, when Keanu is kidnapped. This leads to an extensive search by both Rell and Clarence to locate this beloved pet. This takes the two into a world of crime and mayhem they’ve never experienced, and in in the midst of doing so they learn a lot about themselves and their cultures they have little clue about.
Clarence finds himself proving his street credibility at a strip club by acting tough and using George Michael songs to convince his ‘comrades’ that he is indeed a bad***.
In their quest to locate Keanu, the guys are mistaken for two hard-core gangsters known as the Allentown Boys who are members of a dangerous street gang. They also encounter a bunch of kooky characters including Hi-C (Tiffany Haddish), Cheddar (Method Man), Trunk (Darrell Brit-Gibson), Bud (Jason Mitchell), Hulka (Will Forte) and even Anna Faris appears as herself in a witty and funny scene.
One could simply ask what makes “Keanu” a comedy that excels beyond the rest, its comedic timing. Peele and Key are exceptional with their ability to convey laughs in the most minuscule ways, but also to elicit hilarity in things that should be seen as funny.
Another important balance is that the movie does not rely solely on comedy, as it sprinkles the elements of a high-octane action flick to deliver the laughs to the audience. Could one ever imagine in a million years that a comedy could be crafted that revolves around the nature of a cute little kitten that is considered a prize possession by all of those who encounter it? No.
That’s why the movie works so well; it uses a foreign concept and comedic geniuses Key and Peele to make the plight of a kidnapped pet a whirlwind. “Keanu” is a film that hooks you at the very start and refuses to let you forget even after the movie has ended, and I mean that in a good way.