Brodie's Grade: B-
Director: Pete Atencio
Writer: Jordan Peele, Alex Rubens
Starring: Jordan Peele, Keegan Michael Key, Nia Long, Method Man, Tiffany Haddish and Will Forte
It's a tricky prospect when sketch comedy writers & performers hit the silver screen for the first time in a major role. Keegan Mickaey Key and Jordan Peele lit up TV screens for 5 seasons on Comedy Central's Key & Peele, with nary a bad episode or faltering sketch. As excited as I was for their first foray into making a movie, but I was just as nervous. While Keanu lands a lot of really good jokes and maintains their knack for social commentary, it's a rough, rocky road getting to the end of the film.
Keanu tackles a lot of solid action movie tropes, particularly the "Man Against The World" sub-genre, or basically any Liam Neeson movie from the past eight years. Ordinary man in an extraordinary situation. In this case, a couple of average guys get caught up in a cartel ring while looking for their stolen cat.
Key & Peele's sketch roots are showing with the slow, mannered set-up to the film's gags. While that was fine in the sketch format, where they could take 2 minutes to slowly build a gag, then immediately walk over to the next 2 minute set-up. While they do a great job of setting up and knocking down great gags, there are a few that they can't quite string together into the overall narrative, so when looking at the whole picture, those puzzle pieces are out of place, they just don't quite fit.
Fortunately they stuck the landing with an even better send-up of a classic happy ending trope. I won't spoil it for you, but they do a great job wrapping the film up with a nice tidy bow, as it should be.
The cat was adorable, the cast was hilarious, it was just a bit rough. It may have been first movie jitters for Key & Peele. It wasn't their best effort, but it doesn't sour me on the idea of them making more films. I'd recommend this for a solid afternoon of entertainment.