Director: Peter Atencio
Cast: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Method Man
Release Date: August 2, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
When Rell’s beloved kitten, Keanu, is catnapped, the hopelessly straight-laced pair must impersonate ruthless killers in order to infiltrate a street gang and retrieve the purloined feline. But the incredibly adorable kitten becomes so coveted that the fight over his custody creates a gang war, forcing our two unwitting heroes to take the law into their own hands.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
From the powerhouse comedy team of Key & Peele comes the film ‘Keanu’ which tells the story of two cousins whose simple lives are disrupted after Rell (Peele) finds himself smitten with an adorable new cat who mysteriously arrives at his door following a nasty breakup, only to have his new companion stolen during a night out. Refusing to let his new best friend go without a fight, Rell pulls his reluctant cousin Clarence (Key) into the mess and before long the duo find themselves surrounded by a group of deadly drug dealing gangsters led by the infamous Cheddar (Method Man) who believe them to be a pair of heartless murderers who massacred the competition. Refusing to give up before getting the cat back, the two soon find themselves in well over the heads as they must continue impersonating these deadly assassins, while unbeknownst to them the two real killers remain hot on their trail, intent on acquiring the cat for themselves.
Directed by regular Key and Peele collaborator Peter Atencio who directed over 50 episodes of the duo’s comedy series, from a script written by Jordan Peele and Alex Rubens, Atencio does a more than competent job at the helm of ‘Keanu’ guiding this comedic outing with a fitting sense of over the top tension and goofy charm. The film also owes a tremendous amount of credit to the talented cast who really help make it work so well including the comedic team of Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele (aka Key & Peele), along with Method Man, Nia Long, Luis Guzmán, Tiffany Haddish and Will Forte who manages to effortlessly steal every scene he’s in with his hilarious portrayal of the hip hop loving and drug dealing next door neighbor.
‘Keanu’ is a goofy, well made and intentionally silly comedy with a surprising share of action and no shortage of hilarious moments throughout; never afraid to poke fun at some real issues while simultaneously informing the masses without the content ever feeling forced or preachy. From the premise alone, viewers will know exactly what type of film they are getting into for the most part, and as an over the top and humorous (almost) gangster-comedy romp it works quite well. The comedic duo of Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele (aka Key & Peele) are the true key (no pun intended) to the film working and while I haven’t had much personal experience with their comedy series, it’s hard to believe many duos could pull off these roles with such fitting hilarity and warmth, not to mention authenticity. Capably guided by regular ‘Key and Peele’ series director Peter Atencio and further complemented by some perfectly selected co-stars including Method Man, and Will Forte among more, ‘Keanu’ is an intentionally goofy and often hilarious good time that any fan of goofy comedies or Key and Peele will definitely want to check out when they have the opportunity to do so.
Overall, ‘Keanu’ is an entertaining, hilarious and often fairly over the top comedic romp through a gangster infested criminal underworld with two highly unlikely individuals. Many folks will find themselves deterred by just how silly it can become at times, but most should have a general idea what they are getting into and any fan of Key and Peele, as well as those who appreciate a simple good time filled with plenty of laughs and some humorous action will likely find this one to be right up their alley; for those individuals, I would highly recommend giving ‘Keanu’ a whirl, chances are you won’t be disappointed.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Keanu’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty great as a whole and delivers a consistently sharp, detailed and fairly clean presentation, suffering from nothing more than the occasional tad of video noise in some heavily populated scenes, yet holding up wonderfully for the most part even during the numerous darkly lit and/or fast moving sequences and never resulting in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a pretty solid high definition video presentation that should largely please.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack provides a clean, sharp and often quite active audio presentation from start to finish. Regularly utilizing all five available channels in order to send bullets and some other action related (or chase related) auditory effects throughout the various channels, along with some crowd chatter and more, while never causing any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a pretty fantastic 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that contributes some additional fun to the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Keanu’ includes a few enjoyable extras. Included on the release is a fun little Featurette ‘Keanu: My First Movie’ (running approximately 3 minutes in length) which includes Jordon Peele and more giving Keanu tips on the acting life. We are also treated to a number of ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the film (running approximately 15 minutes altogether), and a ‘Gag Reel’ (approximately 6 minutes).