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Rell's life is changed forever when a cute kitten comes to his door, and he names it Keanu. Unfortunately, one weekend later, Keanu is abducted by persons unknown. Now Rell and his cousin, Clarence, are men on a mission to find Keanu against the odds. Unfortunately, those odds prove to be perilously high as they find Keanu in the care of the ruthless gangster, Cheddar, and he will only part with him for a price. Now for that cute kitten, these two middle class bumblers find themselves neck deep in a dangerous alien world of drugs and gang violence with only their desperate audacity, creativity and sheer dumb luck giving them a chance to survive. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Fuck Tha Police
Written by Ice Cube (as O'Shea Jackson), M.C. Ren (as Lorenzo Patterson), Harry Whitaker and Dr. Dre (as Andre Young)
Performed by NWA (as N.W.A.)
Courtesy of Priority Records, LLC
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises See more »
An entertaining film with some enjoyable performances, but most of the jokes don't land and the plot is very generic.
'Keanu', Key and Peele's feature film debut, focuses on a couple of guys who pose as gang members in order to retrieve a stolen cat. The premise isn't all that interesting, but the main draw of the flick is the two leads. Their comedy central sketch show was hilarious at times, though it too was uneven. This movie suffers from being too complex for its own good, coming across as a fantastic short sketch dragged out to become just an alright feature film. It is funny at times and always remains enjoyable, I was kept entertained for the majority of the run- time.
The plot simply can't withstand the pressure of the run-time, with film structure seeming to only get in the way of the comedy. There's the arbitrary act breaks and action set-pieces, which feel more like obligations than extensions of the premise. Simultaneously, it is also quite compact and doesn't go the places I thought it would. It plays it safe for the most part, though there is some racial based humour, and falls flat sometimes because of it. The movie tells its story whilst dealing out the comedy in fairly large but contained doses. It doesn't feel too improvisational or too written, with the humour fitting the scene it's in. Its nice that the flick is lead by the plot rather than the jokes, as it makes for a more refined and consistent journey. The plot isn't great though, meandering a little in places and featuring a few unbelievable - and almost unnecessary - set-pieces that use way too much slow-motion. On the whole, the script is good with a tangible sense of heightened reality. The banter between the two protagonists works well, feeling genuine if a little stereotypical. For me, most jokes didn't hit and the ones that did only garnered a grin or chuckle; there's no belly laughs here.
Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele are pretty good in the lead roles, the latter even co-penned the script, but they ultimately play characters we've seen before in their sketches. It works for the most part and because they are comfortable with their parts they are both likable and instantly relatable. But it is when the pair slip into their 'alter-egos' to blend in with the gang that things become a little annoying, especially after a while. I found Key's character in particular rather grating - with his exaggerated cadence, accent, excessive use of profanity and lowered (by an octave, I think) voice culminating in an irritating act that's only tolerable in small doses. Unfortunately, these false personas perforate the majority of the picture. The other actors are good in their roles, though all of them are generic and generally quite uninspired. There's a little development here, but none of the gang members have an arc and the wife is barely on-screen.
The titular kitten is cute and well trained, being extremely feeble yet surprisingly durable. However, the kitten seems to have some hypnotic powers as characters are constantly making questionable decisions just to get their hands on him. I get it is a cute cat and people like cats, but some of these hardened gangstas are dropping their tough personas and risking lives. It didn't make a lot of sense to me. The film is rather contrived with a few odd coincidences, as well as some forced revelations that don't feel earned. The tone is consistent and the pace taught, with little fat that could be trimmed. I liked that it didn't waste too much time, knew what it was and didn't pretend to be profound or anything other than silly popcorn entertainment. The direction is competent but nothing special, with the cinematography and editing being clean and easy-to-read.
Overall, the film is entertaining throughout with some enjoyable performances and a couple of funny segments but most of the jokes don't hit and the lead gangsta personas were tiresome. It was well made but generic and, ultimately, pretty forgettable: 6/10
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