1491. Keanu (2016)

7.9 Huge fun
  • Acting 8.0
  • Directing 8.0
  • Story 7.8
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Starring: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Tiffany Haddish

Director: Peter Atencio

Running Time: 100 mins

Keanu is an American film about two friends who accidentally become embroiled in extreme gang warfare in Los Angeles after they attempt to retrieve their stolen kitten.

This is yet another comedy that really surprised me this year. Although not immediately offering much, Keanu explodes into life within twenty minutes with a hectic and crazy crime plot, full of laughs and madness at every turn. It’s a film that gets buddy comedies, crime comedies, and simple slapstick spot-on, thanks to brilliant writing and top-notch performances all round.

In fact, let’s start there, with the performances. Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are simply hilarious at the centre of this film, putting in two brilliantly energetic and hectic performances that perfectly bring the film’s maddest hijinks to life. From start to finish, the two have fantastic chemistry, and prove massively lovable bumbling leads as they attempt to navigate their way through one of the most bizarre situations imaginable.

Individually, they’re both great too. Peele is always giving it his all and making you laugh with his hilariously awkward and confused character, more interested in the fate of his kitten than anything else, but it’s Key that really steals the show. Not only playing off his co-star fantastically, the way he plays his character’s desperate attempts to make the best of a bad situation are absolutely hilarious, ranging from mimicking a ridiculous hood accent to flat-out screaming, giving the film’s comedy all the more chaotic and funny a vibe.

In all honesty, I went into this film with pretty low expectations, because crime comedy really isn’t one of the most consistent genres out there. Normally, there’s too much focus on the actual crimes, and as a result too few laughs, but Keanu had no such problem, at least for the majority of its runtime.

For the most part, this film is all about the laughs, and watching Key and Peele get into progressively worse and worse situations is the funniest thing about it. There is a story too, and it’s pretty entertaining to watch, albeit not the most unpredictable of all time, but you’re mainly going to be concerned with laughing your socks off, simply because this film is just so funny.

And finally, a side note on Keanu the cat himself. The film gets extra points just because he may be the cutest kitten on the planet. Sometimes CGI, sometimes real, Keanu is one of the most adorable animals you’ve ever seen on the big screen, and if that’s not enough to get you to watch this movie, I don’t know what is.

Overall, I was really impressed with Keanu. It’s a hugely entertaining crime comedy with a decent story that never forgets to put comedy and humour first. With two hugely funny central performances, impressive direction and an adorable cat, you’ll be loving every minute of his mad, mad ride, and that’s why I’m giving this a 7.9.


About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com