The premise of Keanu is simple: two guys are trying to get their kitten back, and thus an action movie is born. You see this kitten is so adorable that he has warmed the hearts of some very dangerous people. And now the only way to get their cat back is for these two suburbanites to infiltrate the drug world. It’s a fish-out-of-water story that our lead actors have been preparing for with five years on television.
The movie is chock full of funny moments, though I will say I don’t think I ever found myself doubled over laughing. Keanu doesn't have one big laugh-out-loud moment that everyone will universally refer back to when thinking about the movie. Instead the laughs are smaller and more consistent, which is what I look for in a comedy. I wasn’t laughing loudly, but I was laughing a lot.
Key and Peele chose to use the same director they worked with on their show, Peter Atencio, who makes his directorial film debut. I kind of wish they'd had someone with a little more experience. I love the loyalty factor, and using someone these guys are comfortable with makes complete sense. But the movie’s biggest fault is that at times it is uneven, and perhaps a more experienced film director could have helped.
The reason Keanu is so good to begin with rests squarely on the shoulders of its stars. Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key are just as funny as any video I have ever seen them in. The play between these two actors is effortless. I have a feeling we are going to be seeing a lot more of these two and that is a good thing.
The movie also has a fantastic supporting cast including Rob Huebel, Luis Guzman, Will Forte, and Method Man. For all of my Wire fans out there, I think you will appreciate Method Man’s character’s name; I know I did. There were also a bunch of cameo appearances, and with the exception of one that seemed out of place and a little too long, they flow naturally and add to the movie’s many laughs. And any time this movie falters it busts out its secret weapon: Keanu himself. Just watching this little kitten trying to run is enough to make you go ‘awwwwwww.’
No one in the audience will regret seeing Keanu. All of it's positive atributes will allow you to forgive the few. Remember this movie as the first step forward to even more cinema hilarity from Key and Peele. B