Film Review: Keanu

Updated on May 2, 2016
Film Frenzy profile image

Written by: Jason Wheeler, Film Frenzy Senior Writer & Editor.

Background

In 2016, Peter Atencio released Keanu, which premiered at the 2016 South by Southwest Festival. Starring Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Method Man, Will Forte, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Nia Long, Rob Huebel, Jason Mitchell, Keanu Reeves, Luis Guzman, Tiffany Haddish, and Anna Faris, the film has grossed $9.5 million as of May 2.

Synopsis

When the Allentown Boys massacre a drug processing facility run by a Mexican drug cartel, they kill everyone but the gang’s leader’s cat, Iglesias. The cat escapes and the unassuming Rell finds him on his doorstep after getting dumped by his girlfriend. Rell takes an immediate liking to the cat and names it Keanu. However, two weeks later, Rell and his cousin Clarence go out for a movie and come back to find Rell’s house ransacked and Keanu missing. Now, they must infiltrate the 17th St. Blips and get Keanu back.

Review

For the first film Key and Peele have put together as a duo, Keanu is a pretty decent watch. As an action comedy, it’s able to take a lot of the conventions used by straight action films and turn them on their head. For instance, there have been a lot of action films where the plot gets started by the main character’s girlfriend or family member getting taken and here it’s a small kitten that Rell only found a couple weeks ago, but it’s played up for all the drama that it can muster. The climax and ending are also great examples, considering that a high speed chase ensues and it’s between both main characters with Clarence chasing Rell who got into the car in the first place to get Keanu away from Bacon. What’s more is that it subverts the expectation that the heroes won’t face any sort of punishment for all the illegal doings they’ve committed over the course of the film simply because they acted in the name of good. Instead, they actually end up going to prison.

Alongside the interesting method of carrying out the plot, the film does have quite a bit of humor, displaying the sketch comedy background Key and Peele have established together on Comedy Central. Much of the humor does come in the aforementioned of turning the main action tropes on their head, but there’s a lot of other comedy that’s just straight up silliness. One great moment is when Rell and Hi-C are selling the newly created drug to Anna Faris and at the same time, Clarence is in the car with the rest of the gang members trying, and succeeding, at convincing them that George Michael is a black man and his music is perfect for those living the thug life. Clarence’s drug induced hallucination inside the George Michael music video that ends with him talking to Keanu is humorous as well, especially with the cat being voiced by Reeves.

The acting within the film is also pretty good, with Key and Peele seemingly having a great time with their roles and everything their characters are doing. Key as Clarence is able to greatly pull off those moments where his character has to go from the meekly timid husband and cousin he normally is to the seemingly tough and rough-edged street thug that he has to turn into in order to keep up appearances. This is seen greatly when his wife calls him when he’s in the strip club and he talks to her normally and changes his tone and personality to the persona and back within seconds when two Blips walk by. Further, the way this is carried out just shows how much Key is enjoying what he’s doing.

However, the film isn’t perfect and where it falls flat is its pacing. Key and Peele are both known for a comedy sketch show on television and the pacing shows that it’s where their strengths lie. While many of the scenes have a lot of humor in them, they just seem to go on for far too long, causing the humor to die slowly and painfully with the audience just hoping to move on to the next scene. In all honesty, it feels like the film could have been shortened by at least 20 minutes in order to make it flow better. However, this was only the first film that Key and Peele have produced together and it was halfway decent. It’s quite possible that in the future, they’ll be able to get their pacing problems fixed and turn out something even better than this.

3 stars for Keanu

the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent WNI's positions, strategies or opinion


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://reelrundown.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)