Minus the swearing, the overuse of the “N-word” and gratuitous violence, “Keanu” would have made an endearing Disney classic.
Luckily, sensible minds prevailed. Instead, “Keanu” is an endearing adult movie about a cute kitten who wins the hearts of drug dealers, street gangs and couple of nerds. Did I mention that the movie is damn funny?
After Keanu’s drug-dealing owner is gunned down “Matrix-style” by out-of-town hit men, the adorable kitty is on the lam and ends up on Rell’s (Jordan Peele) doorstep. Rell, a lovable nerd suffering from a recent heartbreak, immediately adopts the kitten and names him Keanu, because it’s the coolest cat name – ever.
Rell and Keanu get along famously until Keanu is catnapped by the 17th Street Blips, whose member are so menacing, they were kicked out of the Bloods and the Crips. Thus the name Blips. Rell enlist the help of his close friend Clarence (Key) to rescue Keanu from the Blips’ leader Cheddar (Method Man), who has renamed the kitten “New Jack,” and has outfitted him with a tiny do-rag and a mini gold medallion. Rell and Clarence pose as ridicules gangstas Tectonic and Shark Tank – which doesn’t fool anybody, especially Hi-C (Tiffany Haddish), a sexy Blip gang member.
The running joke in the movie is that everybody, from assassins to drug dealers, want to keep the cute furry bundle as a pet. If there is one legitimate complaint about the film, it's that it drags a little in the kitten-free middle when Rell and Hi-C are involved in a drug deal gone bad.
I should mention that there is a wink and a nod to former Wham! singer George Michael, which if “Keanu” is a box office success, should boost Michael’s sale of “Father Figure” on iTunes and views on YouTube as a new generation discovers the song.
“Keanu” is funny when the kitten is on the screen. After all, the movie is named “Keanu” for a reason. Key and Peele are hilarious taking their Comedy Central shtick to the big screen, however, the seven kittens who play Keanu steal the show.
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