By Christian DiMartino
Yes, Key and Peele made an action comedy about a cat.
Yes, it’s as ridiculous as it sounds.
Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele, as you know, had their own show not long ago, simply titled, Key & Peele. The show was a smash… which is why I was surprised that they suddenly decided that they wanted out. It left me to wonder: are they done? Well, judging from Keanu, they might just be getting warmed up.
Keanu isn’t a great comedy, but yet it is a good one, simply because of the fact that these two do have chemistry, and even though not every laugh lands, the film knows better. it knows that we just want these two to do their own thing. Luckily, that’s just what they do.
So, what have they come up with? Allow me. Key plays an Uncle Tom type named Clarence, whose wife (Nia Long) is going out of town, and wants him to relax and cut loose. Peele plays his cousin, Rell, who feels depressed after getting dumped. However, his spirits are lifted when a cat arrives on his porch. He keeps the cat, names it Keanu, and becomes attached to it. Like really attached.
Turns out that Keanu used to belong to drug lords. Of course. So one night when they get home… Keanu is gone, and Rell’s house has been ransacked. But he doesn’t care about that last part. He really just wants to know where the hell Keanu is. So, his drug dealer (Will Forte) leads him to a drug dealer named Cheddar (Method Man), who just so happens to be holding Keanu. So, in hopes that they’ll get Keanu back, they decide to pose as hardcore drug dealers.
Yes, all of this for a kitten. But he is a cutie.
Keanu is obviously absurd, but it’s all good fun. For the most part. Things kind of drag in the final act, mostly because you feel like it should end. But yet that’s part of the joke. Maybe it was just me.
Still though, when Keanu works, it’s pretty funny. Not all of the laughs stick the landing, but you have to admire them for trying as many as they do. It feels like there’s an attempt at a joke every thirty seconds. Some of them are even set to George Michael. Key manages to make George Michael funny. That’s something you don’t see every day. But yet, you also don’t find action comedies about cats every day either.
I liked Key and Peele’s first outing (even though, I guess, they were in the severely underrated Wanderlust). It’s just as outrageous (there’s a cameo from a certain blonde that is all kinds of bizarre, but yet it turns out to be hilarious) as one would expect from them. It’s not great, but I look forward to the future.