Visionary sketch duo offer up laughs (but in a less-than-purr-fect) big screen feature debut
WATCH THE TRAILER(S) HERE:
KEY CAST MEMBERS: Keegan Michael-Key, Jordan Peele, Method Man, Tiffany Haddish, Will Forte, Jason Mitchell, Luis Guzmán, Anna Faris, Rob Huebel and Nia Long
WRITER(S): Jordan Peele, Alex Rubens
WEB SITE: http://keanumovie.com/
Then Rell and Clarence go out one night – and come back to Rell’s home to discover that the place has been ransacked and Keanu is gone.
Checking with his drug dealer/neighbor Hulka (Will Forte), Rell learns that Keanu might be in the hands of the 17th Street Blips gang, run by a notorious drug kingpin named Cheddar (Method Man of Wu-Tang Clan fame). And once they realize their initial plan of going in to ask for the kitten back won’t work, Clarence and Rell launch a hair-brained scheme on the fly that just might work: pose as the notorious Allentown hitmen (also played by Key and Peele) that just shot up a rival drug dealer’s church hideout. In exchange for their service, Cheddar agrees to give the duo the kitten back, provided they show his crew – Hi-C (Tiffany Haddish), Trunk (Darrell Britt-Gibson), Stitches (Jamar Malachi Neighbors) and Bud (Straight Outta Compton‘s Jason Mitchell) – how to do things like real gangsters.
Now all Clarence and Rell have to do is survive … And prove that when it comes to the drug game, they are the cat’s pajamas.
WHO WON’T (OR SHOULDN’T) LIKE THIS MOVIE? People who hate movies with silly plots; people who don’t like Anna Faris; people of all races uncomfortable with the use of the “n” word (don’t like you don’t know what I’m talking about) for comedic purposes; those who like comedies that don’t spend an extended period of time setting up the remainder of the movie.
As anyone well-versed in Key & Peele’s five season run on Comedy Central (or, prior to that, their respective time on the under-appreciated MADTV), the duo was prone to find humor in just about anything (and I do mean, anything) – but their best work was unquestionably in exploring different racial constructs and deconstructing various avenues of African-American/ethnic culture, such as the East-West college football game, their formerly-of-an-inner-city-school-and-now-in-the-suburbs substitute teacher, the world’s two biggest Liam Neeson fans and of course, President Obama’s anger translator. Keanu, however, really doesn’t do that as much simply present the duo in roles that in anything other than a really silly (and in turn, mostly fun for the audience) situation and watch them work their way out of it. ‘
Now, when I say silly, I mean “silly” with a capital “S.” This is a story of a grown-ass man. Who goes into the nest of a drug dealer. And gets his cousin to go along with him. To rescue a kitten. If you cannot get past that idea because it is admittedly too silly, you should stop here. If you are willing to look past that and just go with it, however, you will eventually be treated to a mix of physical and situational humor that will feel like (or at least, what I assume) a comedic acid trip is like thanks to plays on traditional action movie staples like gun battles, what villains act like and getting out of sticky situations. It will, however, take a moment to get to those moments as for a 1 hour, 38 minute film, Keanu drags a bit for the first half of the film with a lot of needless filler that could be wrapped up quicker (see the Anna Faris scene … Or rather, just see the latter half of it, anyway).
Other than that, there’s not a whole lot else you need to know about Keanu – stand-up comic Tiffany Haddish does a decent job in her role as do Method Man and Will Forte, but this is really Key and Peele’s show (no pun intended). The duo expands upon their abilities to play things comedically by playing them out as if they are simply just regular guys dealing with extreme circumstances while staying true to the nature of their characters (and in turn, their respective selves).
And if you’re expecting me to end this on a “they’re the coolest cats in the comedy game” bad joke, well … I’m not. But they have laid an interesting foundation that should make comedy fans interested to see what they do next. OVERALL RATING (OUT OF FOUR POSSIBLE BUCKETS OF POPCORN):