How far would one go to save a lost animal? Perhaps they might print flyers to hang around the neighborhood, ask friends to keep an eye out or scout their surroundings with a flashlight. But when a certain furry feline goes missing in “Keanu,” protagonists Rell Williams (Jordan Peele) and Clarence Goobril (Keegan-Michael Key) pose as drug-dealing gangsters named Tectonic and Shark Tank to infiltrate the crime-infested underworld Keanu is lost in.
The characters Key and Peele portray in “Keanu” seem to resemble ones they have played on their Comedy Central show before — the “biiiiitch” dudes to be specific. I say this because both actors obnoxiously depict modern suburbanites out of their comfort zones, which is hilarious.
In fact, this entire film feels like a “Key & Peele” sketch turned into a feature film with a funny cast, which includes Anna Farris, Method Man and Will Forte to name a few. Certain elements from the television show bleed into “Keanu” like long takes of dialogue to drive jokes, character versatility and even a break into VHS footage. The film also features cool pop-cultural references to Mortal Kombat, De La Soul and “The Shining.”
Music from the film includes Kevin Gates’ “I Don’t Get Tired,” Future’s “Fuck Up Some Commas” and George Michael’s “Freedom 90.” The latter plays during a scene when Shark Tank takes a hit of “Holy Shit,” which is a fictional drug containing PCP, MDMT and DMT.
In 2016, cat memes can be cringeworthy. But it works because of Key and Peele’s ability to break in and out of characters who put themselves in a ridiculous situation. The word “ridiculous” is perfect to describe a majority of the film’s substance, which is comically dense and full of quotable lines like “word to big bird” and “wordness to the turdness.” Seriously, I didn’t last longer than five minutes without bursting into laughter.
The film is hilarious and will satiate the comedic penchant kitten fans yearn for. We give it 3.5 out of 5 stars