A Long Short – Keanu (2016)

Another cat movie.  So this is about a man and his cousin (Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key).  The man is fragile due to a bad breakup, but he finds hope when a kitten shows up at his front door.  When his house is broken into and his new cat gets stolen, he has no choice but to recruit his cousin to go undercover and infiltrate a drug dealer’s gang so as to get his pet back… yeah.  Now I like Key & Peele, but I’ve never followed them all that closely.  I’ve caught a few episodes of their show, and I think they are talented guys when it comes to their comedy; they even managed to make the dreadful MADtv somewhat tolerable.  While they do turn in some decent work here, the transition from short to feature length material is a bit of a rocky one.

1Also, it’s about a cat.

The biggest shortcoming of this movie is that it overstays its welcome.  If you check how this movie staged and framed, it really does mimic the 3 – 5 minute shorts that they turn out on a weekly basis on their show.  I was really on board with this movie when it first started, as these are funny guys.  They have undeniable chemistry together that you really can’t fake, and you can see why they have continued to work with each other throughout the years.  They clearly understand the give and take of comedy, and what makes them work so well together is that they know how to improvise without stepping on each others toes.  But like I said, because it is set up like one of their shorts, it starts to wear you down to the point of not caring anymore.  I think I would have felt far more positive if this was just an hour long, but you can’t release a feature movie that is that abbreviated.  At about the 45-minute mark, that’s when it starts spinning it wheels for me.  That’s also the point where it shows how much it relies on George Michael jokes, which might have been funnier if I was heavily under the influence, but as it stood, it got old for me with the quickness.  It’s kind of like how the movie Ted was obsessed with Flash Gordon for some inexplicable reason.

MotoGp Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix of The Americas - RaceThere is at least 18 times more George Michael jokes than there are Keanu Reeves jokes, which is not something I expected to say about this.

This is not all bad, but I was ready for it to be over far sooner than where they actually chose to finish.  Key & Peele are the best thing about it, but because this is their baby, they’re also to blame for not knowing what to cut out.  I would even go so far to say that I wanted to like it, but there were just too many negatives that held me back at a number of different points.  If you are a fan of their comedy, you probably won’t hate it, but it’s awfully hard to recommend to anybody due to its shortcomings.

Keanu (2016) **1/2

– Critic for Hire


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