Key And Peele’s Cat Movie “Keanu” Is Fine, But Not Purr-Fect

Scott Kurland
Film: Keanu
Starring: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Tiffany Haddish, Method Man, Jason Mitchell, Nia Long, Will Forte, and Luis Guzman
Rated R
Diretor: Peter Atencio

It’s hard for sketch comedy artists to make it big in the film industry. For every Kristen Wiig, there’s at least a Julia Sweeney or a Victoria Jackson. Back in the early 2000s, “Chappelle Show” was the biggest sketch comedy show in  the world. It was bigger than “Saturday Night Live”, “MadTv”, and “SCTV” combined. Dave Chappelle was being hailed as the next Eddie Murphy. Sadly fame got to him and he vanished into obscurity. 

 Pan forward to 2012, and the new kings of both sketch and film comedy are Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele; known simply as “Key and Peele”. Their style of comedy is not only funny, it’s dark, twisted, and raunchy. Naturally, it was only a matter of time before Hollywood got them to make a movie. That bring’s us to this week’s film “Keanu,” or as everyone else is calling it, the “Key and Peele Movie”. Let’s find out if it’s any good shall we?

“Keanu” tell the story of Rell (Jordan Peele) and his best friend Clarence (Keegan-Michael Key). These two men are the whitest African Americans in all of Southern L.A. They watch more movies than Leonard Maltin, and listen to waayyy too much George Michael. Rell is nursing a broken heart when he finds solace in the form of a cute little kitten he names Keanu…..after Keanu Reeves….weird right? The only problem is Keanu is kidnapped by the 17th street Blips (guys so terrible the Bloods and the Crips didn’t want them). Now, Rell and Clarence must pretend to be dangerous criminals to infiltrate the Blips and get Keanu. 

This film was not what I was expecting. I was hoping that Key and Peele would pull an Eddie Murphy and make a film like “Coming To America”. That was not the case in this film. Instead, they basically made their own version of “New Jack City.” That’s fine, but this is Key and Peele, the masters of creating weird and unique characters. They made a compelling sketch about the Jazzercise Olympics of all things, as well as what had to be the funniest “Family Matters” sketch of all time. They brought some of that dark comedy to “Keanu," I just would have preferred seeing them play multiple characters who interact with each other. 

“Keanu” is a standard by-the-book action comedy, but I felt like there could be more. I laughed a lot, but I would have rather had them tell this story through interconnected segments that lead to a bigger, more fulfilling climax. This would have opened the film up to more characters that Key and Peele could explore in greater depth without sacrificing any comedic moments. What we get is fine, but I was given pudding when I was hoping for Ice Cream. Pudding is alright, but we all know it’s not nearly as filling or enjoyable.

Overall, “Keanu” is a decent film. The story is a fun idea, and all the actors including Key and Peele work well together. With that said, this is a film that can wait to be seen. You don’t have to rush to the theater to see it. “Keanu” can easily wait for either a second run movie matinee showing or OnDemand rental. This isn’t a bad film. If any other comedy team made it (like Broken Lizard or the guys from the Birthday Boys) it would be great. I worship the ground Key and Peele walk on, and it is because of that fact that I was praying for a much more explosive film. Save your money and view this film later in the year on rental or HBO.