When the adorable kitten of an L.A. crime kingpin unexpectedly enters the life of two cousins, they will have to go through tough gangs, pitiless hit-men, and ruthless drug dealers who all claim him, to get him back. How hard can it be?
Two struggling pals dress as police officers for a costume party and become neighborhood sensations. But when these newly-minted "heroes" get tangled in a real life web of mobsters and dirty detectives, they must put their fake badges on the line.
Rell's life is changed forever when a cute kitten comes to his door, and he names it Keanu. Unfortunately, one weekend later, Keanu is abducted by persons unknown. Now Rell and his cousin, Clarence, are men on a mission to find Keanu against the odds. Unfortunately, those odds prove to be perilously high as they find Keanu in the care of the ruthless gangster, Cheddar, and he will only part with him for a price. Now for that cute kitten, these two middle class bumblers find themselves neck deep in a dangerous alien world of drugs and gang violence with only their desperate audacity, creativity and sheer dumb luck giving them a chance to survive.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
F*ck Up Some Commas
Written by Future (as Nayvadius Wilburn), D.J. Spinz (as Gary Hill) and South Side (as Joshua Luellen)
Performed by Future
Courtesy of Epic Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing See more »
"Keanu" is a very good first foray into feature films for the funny duo of Key and Peele.
Meet Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele. Although many are already well-acquainted with the duo, the comedy "Keanu" (R, 1:38) is their first feature film together, serving as their introduction to the unitiated. Although they have each done projects on their own, these two comedians are best known as a team who met as cast members on MADtv and then starred in "Key & Peele", their own sketch comedy series, which was on television's Comedy Central for five seasons (2012-2015). That show was critically-acclaimed and award-winning, but underseen by the general public. The end of "Key & Peele" served as the beginning of Key and Peele's pairing in movies and "Keanu" proves to be a great vehicle for their pop culture aware and racially insightful comedy, not to mention their significant chemistry.
The title character is a cute little kitten (actually, one of seven used in filming), which shares his name with a certain movie star, that name meaning "cool breeze" in Hawaiian. At the beginning of the film, the kitten avoids injury and escapes the scene of a shoot-out at an illicit drug production facility. The kitten belonged to drug dealer King Diaz, whose place and people were shot-up in that first scene. The shooters, a pair of very scary, long-haired, darkly-dressed, ninja-like specters called the Allentown Boys, also take a shine to the kitten, which runs off as the massacre is ending. The little guy runs through the streets of L.A. until he ends up on the doorstep of a depressed man whose girlfriend has just left him.
Rell (Jordan Peele) quickly and deeply bonds with the kitten, whom he cleans up and names. Keanu's considerable cuteness brings Rell out of his emotional funk and Rell, a photographer, starts creating photos of the kitten in mock-ups of classic movie scenes. When Rell's cousin, Clarence (Keegan-Michael Key), comes by, he's also immediately taken in by Keanu's charms. Clarence's wife (Nia Long), who has joined their neighbor (Rob Huebel), on a weekend getaway so their daughters could spend time together, urges Clarence to use that couple of days to have some fun and cut loose. Clarence heads across town to Rell's place for a weekend that turns out to be much more than anyone bargained for.
After coming home from a movie, the pair discover that Rell's home has been ransacked and Keanu is gone. Rell desperately asks Hulka (SNL's Will Forte), his neighbor and drug dealer, if he saw anything. Hulka says he had recently seen members of the gang the 17th Street Blips (gangbangers who had been kicked out of the Bloods and the Crips) nearby. Rell and Clarence find the Blips at a strip club called High Priced Vixens (HPV for short) and see that Cheddar (Method Man), the Blips' leader, has adopted Keanu. Rell and Clarence try to play it cool, mentioning that they like the cat. Mistaking them for The Allentown Boys, Cheddar says he'll give them the cat if they go with his crew on a job and teach them a few things.
Rell and Clarence aren't exactly thugs. They argue over who talks more "white" and Clarence is obsessed with the music of George Michael. But they do their best to live up to the badass reputation of the Allentown Boys long enough to get Keanu back. Rell and Clarence join "Hi-C" (Tiffany Haddish), Trunk (Darrell Britt-Gibson), Bud (Jason Mitchell) and Stitches (Jamal Neighbors) on a delivery to the home of Anna Farris (as herself) which becomes comically bizarre – both for those who go inside the house and those who wait outside in their van. Before Keanu's fate is finally determined, Rell and Clarence party with the Blips, run into the real Allentown Boys and meet a drug kingpin (Luis Guzman) who recognizes Keanu as his cousin King Diaz' kitten and insists on having the little guy. (That's one popular pussy cat!) "Keanu" is an understated but fun movie, and a great initial foray into feature films for Key and Peele. In keeping with their sketch comedy background, the story and the characters are humorously unrealistic, but are good for more than a few laughs. The script by Peele and Alex Rubens overplays some of the gags, but includes some smart plot twists. (Whether you see them coming or not, they are pretty enjoyable.) Director Peter Atencio keeps things moving and strikes a good balance between light-hearted and serious, obviously helped by his two talented leads. It's the charm and chemistry of Key and Peele which accounts for much of this film's appeal. (And a certain adorable kitten is also a big part of that appeal, unless, of course, you're a soul-less cat-hater.) This modern day Abbott and Costello effectively entertain with "Keanu", and it's obvious that their first feature isn't their last. "B+"
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