Key and Peele’s movie Keanu is a cute idea, and the cat is cute from the start. But Key and Peele’s movie lacks that human element and a script with a coherent vision. So for this Keanu movie review, unless you are a true kitty lover and/or a lover of gangster film violence, you might see the problems.
The elements on display don’t quite mix. If you come into this just to see Key and Peele deliver intelligent post-hipster laughs like their Comedy Central series, you are better off streaming those TV episodes. It’s still the old Key and Peele you know, but it’s apparent that a much different approach to timing and execution is needed to make this new Key and Peele movie deliver on its potential.
If you want to see the film fresh without any of the juicy plot tidbits revealed, you may want to turn back now. But whether you continue or not, my best advice is to wait for Key and Peele’s next film. Whatever the critics end up saying over the next week or so, Key and Peele will likely take it as a learning experience and emerge with something holding a much clearer, coherent message. Every Key and Peele TV comedy sketch isn’t perfect, while some are so ridiculously funny that they look like comedy kings. In the movie world, hit or miss is also likely to be the case. So maybe hold out for round two.
— PetSmart (@PetSmart) April 28, 2016
Ars Technica explains what Keanu is going for, but the execution is too loose. Perhaps if Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele weren’t both the stars and producers, with Jordan Peele even serving as co-writer, they could have brought more focus. Holding fewer responsibilities on the project may have given them the distance needed for critical feedback.
As it goes now, this film will have multiple levels of audiences that like one aspect of the movie but will feel out of place with the others. If you just want more Key and Peele, you are likely to enjoy the parts where they resemble their TV show selves but find all the other parts a bit grating. It would be funny to hear their fake gangster accents in a short sketch, but it’s hard to take over the course of a feature-length situation.
Cat lovers will feel right at home looking at little Keanu on the big screen. He does amazing stunts and has more personality than a lot of the human actors here. But cat lovers may still feel underserved with the amount of Keanu screen time. And cat lovers may find the amount of blood spilling all around Keanu a little unsettling.
Keanu Reeves fans will also find things they can relate to here. Some of his Matrix stunts are pulled into Key and Peele’s arsenal. Keanu Reeves voices a small part of a drug sequence where Keanu the cat can speak. If he was in here more, that could’ve really helped the movie find a focus. As Variety reveals, this movie’s faults mostly lie in coming off corny, definitely not the same experience as the Comedy Central series.
— TheWrap (@TheWrap) April 29, 2016
It’s hard to say who this movie is trying to please, but the genre it leans towards most is the hip-hop gangster film. The violence is real. The execution of on-screen gangster violence is a bit too much for those who came to this movie for those other reasons. The pure fan of urban gangster movies will be well-served, though. Method Man plays a strip club overlord with a thing for kittens. He carries the role well, but the errors of timing and believability in the storyline around him only leave hope for a better script next time.
Tiffany Haddish, who plays Hi-C, is the best thing about this movie. She provides stability to the wobbly plotted new Key and Peele movie adventure.
There will certainly be people who love the irony and the crossing of movie genres, but others may see it as ineffective. In any case, they went for innovation before execution. Fans can only wait for the next Key and Peele movie with a hope for clearer vision.
[Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images]