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'Keanu' DVD Review: Key & Peele take on gangsters, a kitten and their first full-length feature

August 10, 2016Ben MK

It took the crew behind HBO's Entourage four years to make good on their promise of "eight seasons and a movie." However, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele have already made good on "five seasons and a movie," and mere months after wrapping up the final season of their hit Comedy Central series, Key & Peele.

In Keanu, Key and Peele play Clarence and Rell, two cousins who aren't nearly as "gangster" as they think they are. However, when Rell's newfound best friend, a cute and cuddly kitten he's named Keanu, is snatched by some real gangsters, Clarence and Rell must summon their inner thugs in order to get him back. Little do they realize just how in-demand Keanu is, because every criminal in L.A. — from drug-dealer Cheddar (Method Man), to crime lord King Diaz (Luis Guzm├ín), to psycho-killers the Allentown Brothers (also Key and Peele) — seems to want him.

What follows is something of a send-up of movies like Taken and, of course, John Wick, as Clarence and Rell find themselves in over their heads in L.A.'s criminal underworld. A reunion between its stars and their Key & Peele director, Peter Atencio, Keanu also revisits some themes from the show, taking not-so-subtle aim at topics like racial stereotyping. Unfortunately, the movie's premise seems more aptly suited to the kind of sketch-based comedy Key and Peele are known for, as the pacing of the humor works much better in the film's trailer than in the movie itself.

Make no mistake, Keanu isn't a movie that belongs in the kitty litter box; however, it's not the cat's meow either. That being said, Key & Peele fans are the ones who will likely get the most mileage out of the duo's big screen debut, whereas for everyone else, a rental — or even a quick look at the red band trailer — will suffice.

Keanu's DVD presentation is exactly what you might expect from standard definition. However, that's not to say that this 480p image is in any way sub-par, as the transfer serves up defect-free detail, contrast and black levels, as well as healthy color saturation, whether it's the green of the lawn outside Clarence's suburban home, or the neon pink and purple lights of a seedy, downtown strip joint. As for the audio, the movie's sound design is slightly more action-packed than your average comedy. Still, the disc's Dolby Digital 5.1 mix fares perfectly fine, balancing the dialogue and the music with the sounds of gunfire, police sirens and Keanu's too-cute meowing.

Warner's single-disc DVD release includes an UltraViolet digital copy and the following DVD extras:

  • Keanu: My First Movie (3:06) - A tongue-in-cheek featurette that has the cast giving acting advice to Keanu the kitten.
  • Deleted Scenes (15:13) - Eight scenes ("Substitute Teacher," "I Don't Think That God Works Like That," "It's Not Over," "Dungeons and Dragons," "Keys," "Ain't Gonna Be No Tomorrow," "I Like To Use My Hands" and "Dirty Nails, Dirty Dick").
  • Gag Reel (5:39) - Goofing-around and silliness from the set.

Keanu is available from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment as of August 2nd, 2016. The DVD features English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 and English Dolby Digital 5.1 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English, French and Spanish subtitles. The total runtime is 1 Hr. 40 Mins.

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