Yeah, I’m late on this one. I just saw “Keanu,” which was released two weeks ago (I saw “Green Room” that weekend instead), and I get it. Cats are adorable.
Did you ever see that badass 2014 action movie, “John Wick?” Well, this is a similar plot, but in comedy format. Rell (Jordan Peele) adopts an adorable kitten to cope with a breakup, finds the cat is abducted, then enlists his cousin Clarence (Keegan-Michael Key) to rescue the cat.
“Keanu” works best as a parody of action movies and takes jabs at “John Wick,” “True Romance” (1993), “The Boondock Saints” (1999), “Bad Boys” (1995), and a million other action movies. Keegan and Peele (easiest way to refer to them) clearly love action movies and are great as average Joe’s trying to be tough.
Clarence is in a hapless marriage due to his low self-esteem and lack of thrills while Rell is focused on rescuing his beloved kitten, Keanu. This is where the laughs are because Rell is increasingly traumatized when exposed to shootouts and crazed celebrities trying to kill him, while Clarence enjoys teaching his gang of thugs about George Michael.
The kittens and George Michael make “Keanu” a surprisingly charming comedy, but it still suffers a few flaws (I know, who am I to criticize a comedy?). Clarence’s subplot gets a bit unnecessarily melodramatic at times (mainly in the last thirty minutes), the climax is strikingly similar to “21 Jump Street” (2012), and we get the millionth action-comedy slow motion gunfight. Slow motion gun fights aren’t funny; Keanu Reeves making an obscure cameo is.
I’d still recommend “Keanu” to people who love Keegan and Peele, as well as cat lovers and action movie fans. I may haven’t gotten the whole thing, but then again, not all comedy is for everyone.