Verdict: 2.5 / 5
In their new action-comedy, adorably titled after the lead kitten, Keanu, internet sensations Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele of the Comedy Central sketch program Key & Peele have created a very lengthy extended cat video. Their first foray starring in feature films is a shambling buddy comedy that has a few laugh-out-loud moments but struggles to maintain its momentum.
Like most of their skits which are written for the Internet age, the plot is obviously completely ridiculous. Keanu follows the story of a kitten who gets loose from a violent drug lord. Of course, our heroes (both of them ineffectual nerds) find it, name it after a certain actor and fall helplessly in love with the cuteness of our feline friend. Soon bad guys steal the cat and so they set off to rescue it. In order for them to get the cat back, the duo goes undercover as local gangsters. Naturally, the two are completely in over their heads and get caught up in a gang war where they are mistaken for two really bad gangsters who recently raided a drug warehouse/church.
Truth be told, Keanu is nothing more than a high-concept goof that could have played out well in a 10-minute sketch, but has instead been filled out into a feature film. It’s occasionally funny, but most of the time it feels like it’s an overlong and slack one-joke comedy. The head-bobbing references to George Michael are the highlight, but really it mostly feels like a lamer-than-expected Dude, Where’s My Car with black actors and their usual exploding racial stereotypes. It’s hard not to like the kitten or Method Man’s Cheddar, but you can’t help but think that Key and Peele deserve something more special in their first big screen film.
Considering the amount of talent available here, Keanu is pretty mediocre.