When his precious kitty cat called Keanu (Keanu Reeves) goes missing. Cousins Rell (Jordan Peele) and Clarence (Keegan Michael Key) embark on a series of adventures to get him back as do the deadly and mysterious Phantom Brothers.
“Their feature debut!” screamed the trailers on this side of the pond, shamefully all we knew was a cute kitty was in the movie and he was called Keanu. I too am in the boat of “Who are these two guys again?” but after watching Keanu I couldn’t help but think, why the hell haven’t I seen these two in more?!
So to sum up quickly, stars Key and Peele had their own little successful show for a while called…well Key and Peele, a comedy show which included sketches and bantering in front of a live audience. And now their feature debut, so how does it pan out?
The film starts off with a big shoot out inside a meth lab between a local cartel and two Matrix style leather clad shadowy figures, The Phantoms. A funny side note is that our two main cast members actually play the bad guys too. During this explosive bullet ridden opening, a cute little kitty cat belonging to the drug boss dodges bullets and makes its way to safety, all the way to the lovable stoner that is Rell. He just broke up with his girlfriend and smokes up to ease the pain.
Meanwhile his cousin Clarence, a metrosexual in everything he does from his speech to his taste in music (George Michael…shudders) urges him to find a new lease in life. And wouldn’t you know it, of all the houses in this town, the kitty had to stop at Rell’s which in fact does give him a new lease on life.
A few months later and after a house burglary the cat has gone missing, Clarence’s family is away for the weekend, so he sets off with his bro/cousin to find the cat. Enter one of our antagonists Cheddar (Method Man) who owns a strip joint and Keanu, what will the boys do to get him back?
Well that is where the movie really picks up, till now it’s entertaining but once Peele and Key are given the freedom to lash out and pretend to be some hard hitting melon farmers, the laughs just keep coming. It caught me off guard that’s for sure, the switch between Clarence’s soft spoken educated voice to a hard gangster type is phenomenal especially in a scene involving himself and three other gangsters in his car. Remember the George Michael mention earlier? Yea he’s in it a lot but not as you think just like the first person you think of when you hear the movie’s title.
Mr. Reeves himself is in the film, you just have to spot him. As for our cast, they are all great at packing in the laughs, mentions must go to Tiffany Haddish as Hi-C, the tough woman of Cheddar’s group who also catches the eye of Rell. The two have great chemistry together and have one of the most awkward and intense scenes involving a drugged out Anna Farris.
This could have went the cringe worthy Wayans brothers way or…well now let’s start a new ‘Way” we will call it The Key and Peele Way. The movie’s packed with laughs, for fans of the two I am sure there are throwbacks to their previous works. For the rest like me who didn’t know who these two were, go see the film, it’ll catch you off guard as it did me.