In Theatres: 
Apr 29, 2016
Running Time: 
98 minutes

Clarence (Keegan-Michael Key) is a sitcom dad with a lack of fashion sense straight from 1992. Outside of being a pleasant parent and devoted husband, he doesn’t know who he is, and never takes any time for himself. On the other side of being lost, his cousin Rell (Jordan Peele) is a visual artist with a recently broken heart whose best idea is to smoke weed all day; until Keanu shows up on his doorstep after escaping a massacre between rival drug gangs. Rell falls hard (like hard, very hard) for the meowing fluffball and his artistic ambition returns; until Keanu is catnapped by another rival drug gang.

The absurd premise feeds every joke and twist that follows. Clarence and Rell pretending to be the Allentown Brothers, a duo of assassins with the bloodiest of reputations, leads to all of the hijinks imaginable. Comedy notwithstanding, the two do get into murder, drugs, and drug deals; all for the super cute, irresistible Keanu.

There are a few interesting surprises of practicality and possible romance that one wouldn’t expect from action/comedy/kitten adventure. However, when you mix guns, gangs, and kittens, you can’t really expect anything. Between the heart melting cuteness (the audience literally “awww’d” out loud) and the George Michael sing-a-longs, it seems Keanu was made for crowds.

I have been a fan of Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele since their MadTV days and even more so during their five season run of Key and Peele on Comedy Central. Their expert timing, absurdity, and a love of making combining two extremes is on full display in Keanu. The meows are in surround sound and the violence and blood is in HD, as is every whisker on Keanu’s little face. Unfortunately the longer scenes suffer from a lack of an editor’s touch. There is too much lingering for laughter and could have benefitted from the tightness found in their skits.

Maria Jackson
Review by Maria Jackson
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