Review: ‘Keanu’ is Intentional Key & Peele Humor
“Keanu” brings us the Key and Peele comedy you would expect.
Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele have been doing sketch comedy for quite some time. They started out with a low profile but pushed themselves into the spotlight with their hit Comedy Central series “Key & Peele.” With “Keanu” we get the opportunity to see if their sketch comedy expertise can translate into a good film. Let’s find out if it did.
Cinematics (Cinematography, Acting, Story, etc.) – 2.5
This isn’t a film that is meant to be taken seriously. It’s essentially one long comedy sketch as the premise revolves around a kidnapped kitten and the extreme lengths to which two upstanding people will go to retrieve “Keanu.” Even though the ridiculous nature of this story may be intended, it does not save it on a cinematic level. Even from a comedic perspective, the underlying motives of this story continue to wear thin throughout.
With a thin plot, the character development is even thinner. There’s little backstory in regards to Rell (Peele) and Clarence (Key) which left me not too invested in the characters. I also think the laughs would have been more intense if there was a deeper connection established.
While the characters and plot were simplistic and a bit lacking, both Key and Peele worked with what they had and both gave the solid comedic performances we would expect. If you have watched their show then their roles may seem familiar and if not, I’m confident in saying you will find them enjoyable. The story may feel like a mashup but Key and Peele are the anchor that keeps that inconsistency on track. They are animated, reactionary, and overall a riot to watch in most any situation.
The situations that these characters are put into are also another cinematic strength of this film. Things get progressively worse for Rell and Clarence as they get more deeply involved in this bad situation. Surprisingly enough this progression leads to some very good cinematography and visually appealing moments of action. Accompanied with the comedic value of “Keanu,” the car chases and gunfights reach a new level of visual intensity filled with both laughs and amazement.
Overall the cinematic foundations of the film are flawed. There’s little to the plot or character development even for a comedy. But even with those flaws, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are a joy to watch on screen. Their charisma is powerful and demands notice, even if the film itself would be overlooked when adhering to film standards.
Entertainment Value – 3.5
It’s random chaos but “Keanu” is definitely fun to watch. I laughed at the ridiculous nature of the film throughout and the situational humor had me laughing even more. “Keanu” is intentionally preposterous and that’s exactly what you get, a film that has no boundaries or order.
It’s true that the laughs were plentiful but I did see a lot more potential for this film. As creative as these two stars are, I think there could have been a few more elements introduced to spice up the comedy even more.
Overall “Keanu” fares well when it comes to entertainment. It may drag on with the “ridiculousness” at times but it continually kept me engaged due to laughter and wondering what would happen next.
Re-Watchability – 3
Just like a particular “Key & Peele” sketch that I enjoyed, “Keanu” is a film that I would like to enjoy again. It’s not the best comedy I’ve seen, nor is it the best comedy of this type, but it does have its strong moments nonetheless. I doubt I would see this film again in theaters but I would definitely not be opposed to having this film in my personal collection.
- Entertainment Value
"Keanu" is ridiculous in nature but filled with the Key and Peele laughs that you would expect. It's not pushing any cinematic boundaries but the film knows how to poke fun at itself which makes for an enjoyable experience.
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