Keanu – 3.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

KeanuKeanu – 3.5/5 –  This is a thought that I have professed many times before; the one thing that a film must do is entertain in its own right.  If it’s a drama, be dramatic/emotional.  If its action; be a non-stop adrenaline rush.  If horror; be frightening.  Last but not least; if it’s a comedy you have to make the audience laugh.  Being particular to the genre can help in creating a worthy experience at the theaters.  Keanu is a film based around a very particular setup surrounding a cat; but the overall context of the story is to make you laugh.  In being a comedy, Keanu succeeds in creating an experience of laughter throughout.  With some common tropes and predictable quips throughout; Keanu is a fun, filled adventure that will have you smiling for its lovable kitten.

Premise: With their beloved cat kidnap; two Cousins pose as drug dealers to do what it takes to get Keanu back.

In the lead roles of the human characters is some notable names in the comedy industry.  You have:

Jordan Peele as Rell Williams

Keegan-Michael Key as Clarence Goobril

In these particular roles, these two make the film worth watching (outside of the kitten).  When it comes to their characters; they play them to the fullest extent of being funny, awkward and somewhat unpredictable.  There comical fortitude is solidified in the notion of being precise with the elements of impromptu and situational styles.  They do a great job in playing off each other, creating the aura of strangeness in their particular predicament.  Watching them play in the world of gangsters creates something that is unique and intuitive.  They play off the situation in the typical ‘fish out of water’ concept; but with them it feels refreshing from all the commonality that surrounds them.  Their characters don’t have real depth, but with this being a comedy the only thing that is needed is for Rell and Clarence to come off as attachable for the audience.  This is done with their dialogue driven prowess.  They show, through their interactions, the feeling of laughter.  With of the actors/actress in the supporting roles, they play to the ‘outrageous’ tropes that you expect for a comedy.  It is that common over-the-top caricature that has no real purpose but to pull out specific type of humor that plays to the context of either the main character(s) or story.  There isn’t anything that stands out as amazing, but they help generate laughs throughout.  The one stand out from this list is Method Man as Cheddar.  Being the leader of the gang, his charm and persona helps blend with Key and Peele’s character; creating a dynamic that makes their interactions odd but funny.  Last and certainly not least is the animal character of Keanu, played by a lovable kitten.  This kitten steals the show.  From the onscreen presences to the overall ‘cuteness’ of the animal; there is no reason to think that Keanu doesn’t deserve the spotlight.  Through all the scenes; there is an emotional but funny dynamic this kitten creates on screen.  No matter what; Keanu will steal your heart.

The direction takes the basic approach within its script.  When it comes to the basic nature of a comedic film, it tackles three things:

  1. Introduction to the characters and plot
  2. Infusion of certain comedic styles paralleling the plot
  3. Three act premise built around the ‘A to B’ point concept

With the basic outline of who, what and where placed in parallel with comedic elements; this film doesn’t take too long to explain all the plot points.  It does this within a quick twenty minutes.  You get introduced to the main characters of Rell and Clarence; Cousins that through fate come into contact with a cute kitten.  The kitten gets named Keanu.  After the kitten is kidnapped in a home invasion; the plot to save Keanu is set forth.  From here, the series of scenes that progress the story is methodical, straightforward and downright predictable.   Even with this common progression of the film, the nature of any comedy is to put forth something general for the audience to follow.  Even if the story has a ‘lacking’ of presence, the comedy portion has to be on point.  For most of the running time; the comedic elements from all of the characters (including the kitten) is amazingly funny, outrageous and most of all, entertaining.  With the genius of Key and Peele behind most of the interactions; you can see that their ‘shtick’ is on display.  They implore a style that blends social commentary with an impromptu nature of dialogue delivery.  With their style on display, the predictable nature of the plot falls behind their comical timing; creating something alluring and fun.  As the Rell and Clarence move through the film; situational humor comes into play with some repetition in certain comical ‘bits’ that parlays their concepts within the ideal trope of ‘fish out of water’ scenario.  The good thing is they find a general line to use the running jokes at certain times to make everything feel relevant without dulling the senses.  As the story goes, Rell and Clarence have to do a series of acts for the crime boss Cheddar to get their cat back.  These situations become a little obnoxious at times; but the comedy helps create an easement of the common tropes used when related to celebrities, gangster image and ridiculous action.  Once we get into the final act; there are certain twist and turns that happen.  This helps hide the predictable nature of the script, but it is the humor that helps create an entertaining third act.  From some of the outrageous action, uncommon interactions and folly mishaps; the situational and social context of the humor creates a place where the parody of the film comes forth.  You get to see a reflection of social stereotypes paralleled some outrageous scenes.  This is the highlight to the overall theme, showing how the obnoxious nature of the film points an eye towards our idea of image, culture and standards.  Once we get to the climax, it is everything you would expect for how a comedy of this nature to end; leading to an epilogue that is both welcoming and unpredictable.  Once the credits roll, it is a film that stands out for its humor as much as its characters.

The visuals are basic elements of the city.  There isn’t anything here that stands out as gravitas or sensational; but that is something you would expect from a comedy.  The reliance is not upon the cinematography but the comedic elements of the script.  The score is somewhat unnoticeable throughout; but it is worth noting as it is a part of a film.

Keanu is a comedy that might not stand out as a game changer; but it will make you laugh.  From the comical genius of Key and Peele; you will get something different on the surface, but one that brings an eye upon the social nature through their comedy.  If you’re a fan of these two individual or of comedies; this is one for you.  This is a worth wild time at the theaters.

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