Keanu is a 2016 American buddy action comedy film directed by Peter Atencio and written by Jordan Peele and Alex Rubens. The film stars Peele and Keegan-Michael Key in their first film as lead actors following five seasons of their sketch TV series. Also featuring Tiffany Haddish, Method Man, Nia Long and Will Forte the plot follows two cousins who infiltrate a gang in order to retrieve their stolen kitten.
|Directed by||Peter Atencio|
|Edited by||Nicholas Monsour|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$20.6 million|
Filming began in New Orleans in June 2015. The film premiered at the South by Southwest Festival on March 13, 2016, and was theatrically released in North America on April 29, 2016. It received generally positive reviews from critics and grossed $20 million against its $15 million budget.
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Assassins, the "Allentown Brothers", enter a Mexican cartel’s drug-processing facility and kill everyone, including the boss King Diaz. They try to take Diaz's kitten Iglesias, but the kitten escapes. Meanwhile, recently dumped Rell finds the kitten on his doorstep, immediately falls in love with it, naming it Keanu. His cousin Clarence comes over to cheer him up and meets Keanu.
Two weeks later, Clarence's wife and daughter go away for the weekend, leaving Clarence alone. Rell, much happier after finding Keanu, takes Clarence out to see a Liam Neeson movie, telling him to loosen up and be himself. When they return, Rell’s has been ransacked and Keanu is missing.
Rell drags Clarence to his weed dealer Hulka, next-door. He tells them the 17th St. Blips, a gang, may have raided Rell's looking for his. Hulka sends them to a strip club, where Rell convinces Clarence to adopt a "gangsta" persona to infiltrate the gang, calling themselves "Tectonic" and "Shark Tank".
They meet Hi-C, a female gangster, initially skeptical of them but introduces them to the gang's leader Cheddar, who mistakes them for the Allentown Boys. When they see Keanu (renamed New Jack and fitted with a do-rag), they ask Cheddar for the kitten. He will only return the kitten if they act as expert advisors for the Blips on a run to sell a new drug called "Holy Shit", so they agree.
After a team-building exercise, Rell, Clarence, Hi-C, and three other gang members drive to the delivery spot. While Clarence introduces the young men to George Michael (whom he says is black), Rell and Hi-C go to make the sale. The buyer is Anna Faris, partying with two friends. She invites them to play Truth or Dare, and dares Hi-C to shoot Rell.
Hi-C refuses, a fight ensues, and Faris and her two guests are both shot by Hi-C, frightening Rell. At the strip club after, Clarence accidentally smokes some Holy Shit, experiencing a drug trip in which he is in a George Michael video, and Keanu speaks to him with Keanu Reeves’s voice. Rell begins to worry about his cousin convincing him take Keanu and leave. They are abducted on their way by the real Allentown Boys.
Rell and Clarence are tied to chairs and the Allentown Boys prepare to torture them, Keanu frees Rell and Clarence, and they grab their guns. As the Allentown boys approach them, Clarence and Rell unload the guns into them, seemingly killing them. On their way out, searching for Keanu, they run into the Blips; Their real identities are discovered when they refuse to shoot a kidnapped Hulka, and Cheddar forces them to come along to meet with the Mexican drug cartel at its mansion next morning.
There, the Blips meet King Diaz's cousin, Bacon Diaz, offering Clarence and Rell, ‘The Allentown Boys.’ When Bacon also demands "Iglesias", Cheddar refuses and a gunfight erupts between the two gangs. Clarence and Rell realize the team-building exercise they taught the gang has improved their communication; they shoot their way out of the mansion pursuing Bacon, who has Keanu, only for Rell to be shot in the leg and Clarence shot in the hand.
Rell, who never learned to drive, hijacks Bacon's escape car with Bacon and Keanu in the back; Clarence chases them. It ends at Clarence's front yard where Rell crashes, sending Bacon flying through the broken windshield. Bacon gets up and attempts to shoot Rell, but Clarence runs him over. Again, Bacon gets up, but is shot dead by Cheddar and the Blips.
The Blips threaten Rell and Clarence, but Hi-C – secretly a police officer – breaks her cover and forces the Blips to drop their guns. When Cheddar attempts to shoot her, she kills him. The police arrive, and Hi-C reveals that Faris and her party guests were in on the whole operation and are all still alive, but Rell and Clarence will still have to go to jail for the activities they've taken part in, including the killing of the Allentown Boys. She promises to testify for leniency and agrees to go on a date with Rell after they get out of jail.
Six months later, Rell and Clarence have three weeks left on their jail sentences. They are respected by the inmates – including the Blips – for killing the Allentown Boys. Hi-C brings Keanu, telling Rell through a visitation phone, that the veterinarian says a rare disease means he will be a kitten forever.
In a post-credits scene, the Allentown Boys survived the shooting and get back into their car.
- Keegan-Michael Key as Clarence "Shark Tank" and Smoke Dresden
- Jordan Peele as Rell "Techtonic" and Oil Dresden
- Tiffany Haddish as Trina "Hi-C" Parker
- Method Man as Cheddar
- Jason Mitchell as Bud
- Luis Guzmán as Bacon Diaz
- Nia Long as Hannah
- Will Forte as Hulka
- Darrell Britt-Gibson as Trunk
- Jamar Malachi Neighbors as Stitches
- Rob Huebel as Spencer
- Ian Casselberry as King Diaz
- Keanu Reeves as Keanu (voice)
- Anna Faris as Herself (uncredited)
The film was officially announced by New Line Cinema in October 2014, with Peter Atencio directing. Many sites reporting on the film had initially believed it to be a parody of the then recently released John Wick, but according to Atencio the two films were developed independently of each other, and the team was initially unaware of Wick until work on Keanu was already underway. Keanu Reeves himself, who starred in Wick, was eventually in touch with the production, leading a dream sequence in the film to be modified with Reeves providing the voice of the titular kitten. Reeves originally turned down the cameo offer but changed his mind after his sister showed him the film's trailers.
In May 2015, Method Man and Will Forte joined the cast, with Darrell Britt-Gibson being added the following month. Filming began on June 1, 2015, in New Orleans, Louisiana, and concluded on July 10. Seven tabby cats were used for the shoot. Since Key is allergic to cats, he had to take a medication in order to interact with them.
In the United States and Canada, Keanu opened alongside Mother's Day and Ratchet & Clank, and was projected to gross $10–14 million from 2,658 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $3.5 million on its first day, including $560,000 from Thursday night previews. The film went on to gross $9.5 million over the weekend, finishing third at the box office, behind The Jungle Book ($43.7 million) and The Huntsman: Winter's War ($9.6 million). In its second weekend, the film grossed $3.3 million (a drop of 65.2%), finishing 5th, behind Captain America: Civil War ($179.1 million), The Jungle Book ($24.5 million), Mother's Day ($11.1 million) and The Huntsman: Winter's War ($3.9 million).
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On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 78%, based on 179 reviews, with an average rating of 6.40/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "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." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 63 out of 100, based on 35 critics, indicating "generally-favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.
|Golden Trailer Awards||Best Comedy||"Take It"||Won|||
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Actor: Comedy||Keegan-Michael Key||Nominated|||
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