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Many may know Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele from their sketch comedy show Key & Peele which aired for five seasons on Comedy Central. If you’re at all familiar with their brand of comedy, you’d know that much of what they do is centered around racial stereotypes. This type of humor is funny because it’s the elephant in the room make many feel very uncomfortable depending on the setting that they’re currently in. Many of these beliefs exist in everyday life and yet most feel uncomfortable addressing them but like others before them, Key and Peele will shine a light directly on this area so brightly that it’s impossible to be ignored. Thankfully most can see the humor in this. Keanu is the perfect example of this.
Rell (Jordan Peele) is going through that all too familiar heartbreak phase due to a very recent breakup. Rell discloses this news to his friend Clarence (Keegan-Michael Key) who is all too eager to help his bud move past this heartbreak. Before Clarence can even make it to Rell’s house a new development occurs. Rell is now a proud owner of a kitten that just happened to show up on his porch. Rell takes the kitten in, gives him the name Keanu, and that’s all it takes to turn his previous frown upside down. Unfortunately for Rell, while enjoying an evening out with Clarence someone broke into his house and now Keanu is missing. The two go looking for Rell’s missing pet but instead, the duo ends up finding way more trouble than they bargained for.
Animals are typically worth a few extra smiles when added to movies, especially the ones that make people go “awwwwwww” every time they see them. Keanu gets high marks for that strategy as they took every liberty they could without going overboard. The humor of the two lead actors should appeal to a wide variety of individuals although I’m sure some will claim that it’s excessively silly. And to those few, I pity you. Life is better when you can identify humorous moments in mundane day-to-day happenings. That’s basically all that’s going on in this feature. Two guys trying to find a lost pet instead end up finding themselves lost in a situation they basically created. There’s not much in the way of originality here, nonetheless, most of it is still enjoyable.
Aside from Key and Peele, Keanu also stars Will Forte, Nia Long and Method Man to name a few. There is even a celebrity cameo appearance as well as a celebrity voice-over. Keep your ears open for that one but don’t fret. If you can’t make out the voice, graciously the actor’s name is listed in the credits. All in all the acting was fairly decent from the supporting side but clearly the focus was on that of the two leads.
For a comedy there’s a decent amount of violence and there’s even some brief nudity. The emphasis on the R-rating clearly comes from its strong language in case you’re wondering. This is all being brought up because a comedy that features a kitten along with two guys that rarely cross “that line” may compel parents to bring their younger children to theaters to enjoy this movie. While this may be okay for some of the parents depending on their kids maturity level, it’s still worth noting that Keanu received its rating for violence, language throughout, drug use and sexuality/nudity. Just keep that in mind.
So, is Keanu a comedy worth paying full price for? That answer is a “yes” accompanied of course by that pesky asterisk. Meaning IF silly sketch humor, racial jokes and/or using kittens as props for laughs then this should be right up your alley. It’s no eventual classic by any stretch of the imagination but it is worthy entertainment for the short time spent allowing you to step away from the stress and sorrows of the real world. Get yourselves out to theaters this weekend assuming you’re seeking a few good laughs. No allergy shots required.

Keanu is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Carl Wheeler

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