If you’re part of the underground world of crime, you need to be a hardass. Whether you’re a crime boss or just a thug, your reputation means everything, so you can’t come off as a pansy or a wuss in front of your fellow gangsters, lest you destroy your image. That is unless you’re cuddling a widdle bitty pussy cat, of course.
Such is the premise of the raucous comedy Keanu. From the genius minds behind “Key and Peele” (Keegan Michael-Key and Jordan Peele, respectively), Keanu explores the idea of hard men turning soft at the sight of our titular kitten. From the beginning, the aww-inducing feline dodges bullets and certain death and becomes the center of a bizarre sequence of events in which he (she?) becomes the catalyst for mayhem and murder.
With such a unique premise and with brash creative minds at the helm, Keanu becomes one of the freshest comedy movies in recent memory. For whatever reason, funny writers are flocking to TV, which is making the film genre rather stale. Perhaps it’s because Keegan and Jordan started off on television that the writing and wit are sharp and fast.
What really makes this film pop is the back and forth between the main protagonists. As two regular Joes impersonating ruthless gangsters, Keegan and Jordan play off each other in a fun and endearing way that carries the film remarkably well. I also liked the fact that there are consequences to their actions since so many comedies choose to wrap everything up neatly without any mess, even if people were murdered and property was damaged.
Overall, Keanu was a witty and spirited film, and other than an extended sequence with a coked-out Anna Faris in the middle that felt like it dragged on too long, it was a tight script with a lot of great performances.