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Review: Keanu

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele star in Warner Bros. Pictures' KEANU

With their brand of humor, Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key have been able to build up enough credibility to develop a loyal fanbase due to the show they starred in together. So it comes as a shock to no one, that they get a chance to keep that going by reuniting for Keanu. This of course, allows them to continue their connection with their devoted fans while reaching them in an entirely new format for them as a duo.

For Rell (Jordan Peele), things have taken a turn for the worst when his longtime girlfriend recently ditched him. It’s been a difficult transition, but that begins to change once a kitten that he names Keanu comes into his life. Things are going fantastic for him at first, but that only proves to be temporary when Keanu goes missing. With the help of his best friend Clarence (Keegan-Michael Key), Rell goes on the hunt through dangerous territory to find the pet that saved him from a severe case of depression.

Keanu is a lighthearted movie that also includes a great deal of violence and vulgarity. Those elements rarely go together to make a solid movie, but they can work effectively on at least some occasions. In this case, it does work as we follow a group of characters over a small amount of time finding themselves in a few precarious situations.

When watching this, you’ll find that there aren’t as many straight up jokes in terms of zingers, one-liners or any of the other stuff you may expect to see in something like this. Many of the jokes here are mainly jokes of circumstance where the events and scenarios take precedent. With modern comedy, that’s not usually the case as vulgarity and grotesque imagery is usually what is used to get a reaction. That’s one of the things that separates this from what we usually have to suffer through in this day and age.

Although I enjoyed this movie and appreciate what it is, I don’t view this having the level of comedy that will make you fall over laughing while barely being able to breathe. This is more like something that will deliver consistent laughter and amusement throughout. I would obviously hope for a film to accomplish both of those things at once, but that’s hard and pretty rare as well. So this one ends up being fun, even though it’s not some kind of all-time great or anything.

Something that helps in turning this movie into a success is the fact that they do have quite a few likable characters here. Whether it’s Rell, Clarence or just about any one of the gangsters, many of these guys have a certain number of positive attributes about them that makes it easy to see them as good-natured people even if they don’t always make the most positive decisions. That may not make a ton of sense, but you’ll see what I mean once you watch Keanu for yourself.

While you need to suspend your use of logic in some instances here, it’s not required that you do so as much as some other movies that are seen. I’m assuming that’s because it’s a simple movie where not much outside of that is needed. As I said, the circumstances play a part in it all. Not just in terms of the comedy, but also the story. I think that’s why it meshes as well as it does.

On a final note, I like the fact that Keanu is simply a movie designed to make its audience respond with laughter. While there are bound to be some who aren’t amused by it in the slightest, it will mostly likely be able to do what it set out to do in the minds of most people who choose to see it. If you go into it with the mentality that you’re just going to watch a movie about two guys trying to save a kitten from a gang, you will probably be more prepared for what you’re going to see. If that’s the case, there’s a good chance that you will enjoy and appreciate what’s on display.

Rating: R

Director: Peter Atencio

Jordan Peele
Keegan-Michael Key
Tiffany Haddish
Method Man
Jason Mitchell
Darrell Britt-Gibson

Film Length:

Release Date: April 29, 2016

Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

  • 7/10
    Feature 1 - 7/10


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