Starring: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele and Tiffany Haddish
Directed by: Peter Atencio
Running time: 1 hr 38 mins
New Line Cinema
Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars
Abbott and Costello. Laurel and Hardy. Martin and Lewis. Cheech and Chong. Just four of some of the most popular comedy teams that went on to success on the big screen. Time to add a new team to the list: Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, who take over your local multiplex this weekend in the new film “Keanu.”
Rell Williams (Peele) is feeling down. His woman has just left him and he’s hit rock bottom. At least until he finds a cute little kitten outside his door. Taking him in and giving him milk, he names the cat Keanu, which he believes means “cool breeze.” Artistic at heart, he begins taking photos of the cat recreating various movie scenes for a calendar. This strikes his friend Clarence Goobril (Key) just a little bit odd. When Rell’s house is broken into by drug dealers, who mistake it for his pot-selling neighbors’ home, Keanu turns up missing. Obsessed with finding his new friend, Rell convinces Clarence to pose as rival drug dealers in an attempt to retrieve their feline friend.
I’ve been a huge fan of Key and Peele from the time I caught their skit, “I Said Bitch” on Comedy Central. Like their popular show, the jokes in the film fly fast and furious, as the two take on the persona of the “Allentown brothers,” a pair well known for their bloody battles with rivals, in order to do business with the “Blips,” the gang that defeated both the Bloods and the Crips! Rell also meets a lady member of the Blips, the tough but tender Hi-C (Haddish). As Rell and Clarence go deeper to find Keanu, the action picks up to a tornadic level.
Teaming with their former television show’s director, and relying on a script co-written by Peele, the two leads are comfortable on the big screen. Each has their own individual moments to shine, but it’s when they are together that they work best. Whether they’re staring down a rival gang leader or instructing others on the impact of the music of George Michael, Key and Peele are a welcome addition to the big screen. If you aren’t familiar with their work, I urge you to head to YouTube. If you are, I urge you to head to the theatre. You won’t be disappointed.
Make sure to check out our interview with Keegan-Michael Key