I’ve been a fan of comedy duo Key and Peele (Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele) since they were on MADtv together. Their Comedy Central show, Key & Peele, has churned out hit after hit after hit. Although I don’t have Comedy Central, I’ve seen nearly every single sketch available online and I can’t think of a single one I didn’t find funny.
So, when I heard they were releasing a feature film, I was definitely interested. And then my interest was confused when I saw the first few seconds of the trailer. And then my curiosity piqued when I saw the rest of the trailer.
You know what, I was pretty dubious that this movie would be funny. And I’m not sure why, seeing as how I have seen sketch comedy successes be hilarious in a feature-length film. (See Coffee Town.) Keanu was like a few different sketches that were strung together into one cohesive story. From the get-go, I was already laughing at the extremely dramatic music playing when the lights dimmed. (Me to Annie: “What is happening? Are we even in the right movie????”) I was only reassured that everything was going all right when I saw the star of the movie appear on screen: the most adorable little kitteh! (Fun fact: 7 kittens were used for the filming of Keanu. All 7 were adopted!)
If you enjoyed Key & Peele, then you will really enjoy this movie. If you’re an avid fan of the show, you’ll definitely appreciate certain nods to their sketches. (Guess who is the star of a movie they see in the movie?) Key and Peele are able to flex their comedy muscles while making subtle social commentary about blackness and drug culture and violence and language and lots of other great stuff.
But you know what Key and Peele are great at is not making you think too hard about the social stuff. You sit back and laugh heartily at the jokes and maybe the next time someone uses the N-word, you think twice about it, or maybe the next time you hear someone telling a minority that they “act/talk white”, you stop and realize that something doesn’t quite sit right with you about that.
And maybe you don’t. It’s all right if you don’t. This movie is pretty funny and I can only recommend it highly to you all if you are looking for a fun comedy to watch.
I think that I walked into the movie wishing Key and Peele played more characters, because they are SO good at characters, but looking back, I’m glad this didn’t turn into a buddy-Tyler-Perry-type movie, that would have gotten old fast. (Although I think they could’ve pulled it off, to be really honest.) As a result of there not being as many Key-and-Peele-characters, they weren’t as craaaaaazy as we’ve seen them be on their show. BUT that was still fun to see Key play just the uptight dad being forced to let loose and Peele play a man who has nothing left in his life but this kitten that fate brought to his doorstep (literally).
Also, I’m glad that a movie in which characters talk about consequences have actions, the consequences of the insanity of this movie actually have actions.
ALSO ALSO, there’s a really fun meta moment where they show up at a mansion inhabited by Anna Faris’s character… and then Peele’s character says to her, “I loved you in House Bunny“, aka she is playing ANNA FARIS fun fun fun fun fun. (But no husband, Chris Pratt, around. Sad.)
Keanu is out in theaters today, April 29.