The comedic talents of Key and Peele need no verification. After five years consistently delivering hilarious and timely comedic sketches on their show on Comedy Central, it’s clear to anyone with an Internet connection that these two guys are funny. Their helpings of single minute sketches are concentrated and focused nuggets of comedic gold. And that’s the biggest problem with Keanu. It’s butter spread too thinly over bread as the story is a great four minute sketch stretched over 100 minutes.
The story is a classic fish out of water, bromance vehicle that many TV-to-film stories follow when they first make the jump onto the silver screen. Using the cutest cat you’ve ever seen as the plot device, the story sees the pair attempt to reclaim the kitten from several gangs in awkward and uncomfortable situations. Each situation is set up in the hope of finding something funny within them, rather than necessarily orchestrating clearcut humour themselves. To a point, this can be forgiven thanks to the natural watchability of the comedic duo. When given breathing space, and good material, Keanu actually proves to the wider cinematic audience what all the TV hype is about. The gags involving George Michael deliver consistent and true guttural laughs as the pair enjoy the madness within. Yet the reason why the great jokes work is because they spend no longer than two minutes existing. It’s Key and Peele doing what they do best, but it’s just a shame that these moments are few and far between.
It all stems from that central issue of a sketch stretched out to an unfathomable length. No matter how much energy the pair attempt to infuse in their scenes, there’s little they can do to avoid the fact that their central joke runs out of juice about 15 minutes in.
CAST: Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, Tiffany Haddish, Method Man
DIRECTOR: Peter Atencio
WRITERS: Jordan Peele, Alex Rubens
SYNOPSIS: Rell (Peele) and his cousin, Clarence (Key), hatch a plot to retrieve a stolen kitten by posing as drug dealers for a street gang.