This is actually the second draft of my review of “Keanu” starring Comedy Central’s Key & Peele. After I finished the first draft this morning, my cat Chip, who naps on my keyboard whenever it’s most inconvenient for me, gave it a glance and then shot me that “I coughed up more interesting things” look; those of you with cats know exactly what I am talking about. (Kitten, Please! You think you’re an internet sensation but you ain’t nothing but a meme.)
To be fair, Iglesias is paws-down the cutest feline you’ve even seen. Even when the mascot turns gangsta, with his teeny little do-rag, you can’t help but murmur, “Aww, that is the cutest feline I’ve ever seen.” Hey, and he’s available, too — after his owner is killed in a turf war. Purrrfect (ouch!) timing for Rell (Jordan Peele) on whose doorstep the kitten appears after Rell’s been dumped by his girlfriend. He names the furry little interloper Keanu and all is right with the world.
But he makes the mistake of leaving him alone the night the cartel breaks into the wrong house and kidnaps Keanu. (Doper next-door neighbor Hulka, one of Will Forte’s best roles, was the intended target.) So he and his cousin Clarence (Keegan-Michael Key) pretend to be hardcore hitmen known as the Allentown Boys (who, I suppose, technically they are because Key and Peele play dual roles here) to rescue Keanu from the 17th St. Blips.
Outrageous and consistent laughs, mostly from the duo’s unlikely transformation from über-meek (reminiscent of In Living Color’s ‘The Brothers Brothers’) to their street-wise “Tectonic” and “Shark Tank” characters. Also a treat: running gags like exposing young thugs to team-building skills and the music of singer George Michael actually contribute to the plot (as it were).
Key and Peele have definite chemistry (their sketch comedy series wrapped-up five seasons last year) and their trademark characters are fresh and funny. And though “Keanu” is far from award caliber, the premise is fun and original which makes for an entertaining couple of hours of escapism that’s not as exhausting as, for instance, an Avengers film.
Method Man and perennial favorite Luis Guzmán co-star.
Stay for the end-credits.
“Keanu” is by far the cutest cat to ever grace the big screen but he’s hardly the coolest or baddest. Curious? Read on.
Mr. Tinkles of “Cats and Dogs” (2001)
In this surprisingly clever family film that stars Jeff Goldblum and the voices of Tobey Maguire and Alec Baldwin, dogs must pool their intelligence and high-tech gadgets to save humankind from the maniacal Mr. Tinkles (Sean Hayes) and his Ninja cats.
SPECTRE figurehead Ernst Stavro Blofeld has appeared in several James Bond films and in each of them an ominous little white Persian cat figures as a prominent accessory. Why? Good question.
“The Godfather’s” Cat (1972)
Legend has it that a stray cat wandered onto the Paramount lot and Marlon Brando incorporated it into the iconic opening scene which plays to Don Vito Corleone’s sedate demeanor.
Mr. Bigglesworth of the Austin Powers franchise
The unholy amalgam of Bond’s Blofeld and SNL’s Lorne Michaels inspired Mike Myers’ supervillain Dr. Evil and like Blofeld, Myers’ alter ego was not without Mr. Bigglesworth who started as a white Persian before losing his fur during cryonic thawing.