‘Keanu’ Review: Kittens & Violence Makes For A Great Time

Key & Peele Shine But Keanu The Cat Shines Brighter

You know exactly what kind of movie you are getting walking into Key & Peele’s first big-screen venture. ‘Keanu‘ is basically one of the best sketch ideas for their show expanded to a feature length movie. The result is a hilarious & relevant comedy that showcases what the two men do best.


The real star of the show is the 7 tabby cats that play the titular Keanu. The adorable kittens made even the most cynical critic say “aww” quite a few times. Wait till you see the brilliant collection of movie-themed photos that Jordan Peele’s Rell takes of Keanu; they are priceless and I need the calendar of them as soon as possible.

Something I really enjoyed about the movie is they avoid falling into major cliches. Half-way through the film, I expected Keegan-Michael Key’s Clarence & Peele’s Rell to have a major fight and the story would halt to reunite them. That never happened! While they did buttheads at times, they never went down that tired route many comedic films take. This allowed the story to keep going. Once the action picks up, it never stops. Also, the ending doesn’t end on this overly happy note. While most comedies wrap everything up with a happy bow, ‘Keanu‘ remains funny but keeps it real.

The fact the director Peter Atencio can sustain the premise for more than a 5-minute sketch is another point of praise. Atencio is usually found directing segments for the ‘Key & Peele‘ sketch show so he seems comfortable working with the guys and the obscurity. The director handles the material written by Alex Rubens and Jordan Peele very well. The gangster violence is never sacrificed for a laugh; both comedy & action are well balanced. 

Also, what was up with ‘Keanu‘ being a low-key love-letter to the music of George Michael? As teased in the some of the trailers, the former frontman of WHAM! fills up most of the soundtrack. Other than some random rap songs, Michael’s best hits like “Father Figure” & “Freedom ’90!” are heavily played. This random homage does lead to genuinely hilarious moments; the biggest being Key re-creating the famous music video for “Faith“. It was worth the viewing alone.


Keanu‘ has far more highs than it does lows. The action-comedy movie starring Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele leaves me looking forward to the two actors doing more big-screen movies.

Will you be seeing Warner Bros.Keanu‘ when it comes out this Friday?

EJ Moreno
EJ Morenohttp://Vimeo.com/EJMoreno
Who is EJ Moreno? Is he a trained physician? No. Is he a former Miss Universe contestant? Possibly. With a bachelors degree in film and a love of pop culture, he brings an alternative view to the world of pop culture journalism. Follow him on Twitter @EJKhryst and check out his film work at Vimeo.com/ejmoreno