Keanu Proves You Can Make A Great Action Movie Out Of Cute Cat Cameos
Do vicious gangsters who wouldn’t think twice about trafficking lethal street drugs, robbing rival gangs, transporting hostages in the trunk of their car, or shooting up a room full of people have a soft spot for cats? Not like an Egyptian Mau or a Selkirk Rex, just the regular stripey kind of cat you see pawing through your garden looking for a place to do its business?
Yes, they do. At least that’s the premise of Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele’s new movie Keanu in which a kitten—and the 12-times platinum album “Faith” by former Wham! frontman George Michael—change the course of the lives of a group of hardened criminals and two suburban dad-types (only one of whom is actually a dad).
Left devastated by an ex-girlfriend, Rell (Peele) finds a new reason to live in a kitten (Keanu) that shows up at his door one day. The catch is that he used to belong to a murdered drug kingpin whose drug kingpin brother wants the cat as a memento. LA’s most terrifying gangsters (who fell in love with Keanu while in the middle of murdering the aforementioned kingpin) also want the cat. Method Man, in the role of a mid-level drug dealer headquartered in an unfortunately named strip club, is smitten with Keanu as well.
In the city’s criminal underworld, Keanu is more popular that L’il Bub and Grumpy Cat combined. Rell and his tighter-than-uptight cousin Clarence (Key) are drawn into it after Keanu is abducted from Rell’s apartment.
Pretending to be gangsters themselves (in pastel-coloured hoodies and windbreakers best-suited for the golf course), the cousins go deep undercover to retrieve Keanu, resulting in an 70/30 mix of comedy and action.
It sounds ridiculous (as would any Key and Peele sketch if the premise were explained to you without you actually seeing it) but it totally works. Keanu is really funny, thanks largely to its stars’ long-established comedic chemistry, the two hyper-square characters they’ve created, and George Michael.
Keanu also stars Nia Long, Luis Guzman, Tiffany Haddish, Anna Faris, and Will Forte as Rell’s culture-appropriating pot dealer. It’s out Friday, April 29. Catch the trailer below.