Keanu (2016) - Rotten Tomatoes

Keanu (2016)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Keanu's absurd premise and compulsively watchable starring duo add up to an agreeably fast-paced comedy that hits more than enough targets to make up for the misses.

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Movie Info

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele star in this comedy as two friends posing as drug dealers to get back a stolen cat. Peter Atencio directed.

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Cast

Keegan-Michael Key
as Clarence Goobril/Smoke Dresden
Jordan Peele
as Rell Williams/Oil Dresden
Method Man
as Cheddar
Nia Long
as Hannah
Rob Huebel
as Spencer
Richard Holden
as Detective Mank
Susan McBrien
as Hulka's Mom
Jenny Ballard
as Officer Jonah
Ian Casselberry
as King Diaz
Neil Wells
as Prison Guard
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News & Interviews for Keanu

Critic Reviews for Keanu

All Critics (141) | Top Critics (35)

A lot less inspired that you'd think it would be, though, yes, the cat is cute.

May 26, 2016 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
The New Republic
Top Critic

The affection between its writer-stars is infectious and the script is loaded with great gags.

May 6, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

That brings us to the mind-bogglingly adorable feline. Whoever trained the seven cats that collectively play Keanu deserves an Academy Award.

April 29, 2016 | Full Review…
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Not bad for a first feature. And a mad-cute kitten. Help it make some money this weekend so they can all do it again.

April 29, 2016 | Full Review…
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

Once you settle into Keanu, it works. And in many ways, it's of a piece with everything else Key and Peele have done.

April 29, 2016 | Full Review…
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

The joke wears out sooner than it should, but the stars of Keanu (including, yes, that terrific cat) do a decent job distracting from that.

April 29, 2016 | Full Review…
The Atlantic
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Keanu

½

It's a glorified episode of Key and Peele that has enough humor to cover up the pure nonsense. Keanu combines cute-kitty love & the quirky duo of its leads for a silly, wacky film that is senseless to its core but capable of a good number of laughs along the way. 3.5/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

The gist of most of the humor revolves around the ol' chestnut of people who are not black trying to sound, talk, and act "black" (even if they are black? Doesn't matter, it's still the same old tired joke = "black" is funny, har-de-har-har "dey iz so stupid"). If that spins yer prop then this is for you.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

½

Jordan Peele and Keegan Michael-Key are gifted comedic performers, as often evidenced from their often-brilliant sketch comedy show Key & Peele. It was only a matter of time before they made the leap to feature-film players, and Keanu is a suitable springboard for the gents that portends to even better future results. Relying upon mistaken identity bluffs, Peele and Key play a pair of relatively straight-laced men who pretend to be violent gangsters in order to retrieve Peele's stolen kitten. Fortunately, the movie doesn't feel like an overextended sketch though it does have its narrative detours that dawdle (a celebrity drug deal is padded out with far too few jokes), running jokes that hold on for a beat too long and then some (the George Michael fascination culminates in a drug sequence that does absolutely nothing), and there are missed opportunities that seem obvious (Key using his new gangster friends to intimidate a man making advances on his wife). Will Forte's hip-hop loving drug dealer feels like a character nobody knew what to do with, including Forte. What doesn't disappoint is the natural comic chemistry of its leads as well as the movie's ability to surprise, zigging rather than zagging, and finding small jokes just as satisfying as larger set pieces. I enjoyed when the guys insecurity butted against their bravado, like when Peele is trying to deflect credit for helping his new pal to do some very bad things. The onscreen action is somewhere between the wackier world of 21 Jump Street and the grisly, unfunny world of Pineapple Express but at least the filmmakers realize that an action-comedy still needs to present its action through a comic lens. I was laughing consistently throughout though it was mostly at a chuckle level, if I were to be honest. Keanu is a fairly fun comedy that you can't help but thinking could have been more refined during its structureless periods, but then another joke appears and it's hard to get too upset with the final enterprise. Keanu is funny enough but you sense that a better vehicle is on the horizon for these two gifted comedians. Oh and the cat is powerfully adorable. Nate's Grade: B

Nate Zoebl
Nate Zoebl

Super Reviewer

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