Sunday, May 1, 2016

Keanu - Movie Review: Who Doesn't Like Kittens??

I watched two movies this week. High Rise and Keanu. Each film used animals in completely different ways. Animal lovers should probably steer clear of High Rise
Keanu staring Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, and directed by Peter Atencio. The comedy movie tells the story of a poor kitten who is the cat of a drug dealer. He runs away after a hit on his owner right into the arms of Rell. Who then promptly renames the kitten Keanu. Keanu then is stolen and Rell and his cousin Clarence must get the kitten back from a group of gang members. A totally weird and illogical story? Yep, but it looked like a good time at the movies.
It is a funny movie. I laughed out loud numerous times. I never was rolling for an extended period of time, but overall it did its job. I never watched Key and Peele’s sketch show on comedy central, which everyone who watched said was good. Not enough people watched to keep the show alive, but it’s good they got an opportunity to make a movie, because for a first it is well done. Even with the completely illogical plot for two suburban nerd types to try and get a cat back from a bunch of gang members the story works. You care about both characters, and want them to get the cat back. Kee and Peele have great chemistry and you expect that since they have worked together for so long. Their chemistry translated extremely well into a feature film, and the movie didn’t seem like a bunch of sketches. It had a story to tell and get across. Ridiculous as that may sound.
Aside from the story the jokes for the most part hit. Some fall flat, and they went back to the well one to many times with the George Michael references. The movie was a bit too long, and I didn’t like were they took the ending. The movie is fantastical and off the rails, but they grounded the finale in reality too much for my taste. That aside the film is well done and I was impressed with how they incorporated some cameos and play on the action genre overall. That could have been why they grounded the ending, as a nod to say if action movies were to happen in real life, consequences would happen to the people who participate in them. Still not sure it worked for the film though.
This is also director Peter Atencio first feature film and even though he might not get much credit because Key and Peele are the stars of the show. I though the movie was shot and paced really well. I think they could have shaved ten minutes off, but that’s it. He setup up a joke with Key’s character using two camera angels brilliantly. Without how the scene was shot, the joke wouldn’t have been funny. Keanu is just a solid movie. It isn’t going to win any rewards, and some may forget it, but it’s worth seeing, if not in theaters than definitely on rental when it’s available.
What do you think? Can a story about an abducted kitten entertain audiences? Did you go see Keanu this weekend, or are you going to wait for rental? If you liked Key and Peele sketch show give me some good sketches I should check out. 

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