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Stars: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Tiffany Haddish, Method Man, Jason Mitchell, Luis Guzman, Nia Long, Will Forte, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Jamar Malachi Neighbors, Benedict Cumberbatch.

Director: Peter Atencio

First things first.

Keanu (Hawaiian for “The Breeze”, should you want to know) effortlessly steals the big screen feature debut of comedy duo Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele as they make their bid for movie stardom after achieving popularity on the Comedy Central television series “Key and Peele”.

(For the record here, the breeze is the cute-as-all-get-out cat Keanu and not the understandably morose supporting star Reeves of that ilk from the recent horror show The Neon Demon).

Here, in a movie whose driving force is catnapping, far from streetwise New York cousins Key and Peele head for trouble when the former’s beloved pet cat is swiped by a street gang, leaving strait-laced daffy duo to pose as street hoodlums in order to infiltrate the gang of kidnappers and rescue the feline....

Cue escalating comic chaos (opening with drug packaging followed by a shootout in a church), orchestrated with pace and welcome lack of pretentiousness by director Peter Atencio and driven by a screenplay (Jordan Peele and Alex Rubens) whose storyline lacunae are directed over with sufficient coarse verbal and visual comedy to keep audiences seeking unsubtle laughs from small screen favorites easily entertained.

Obviously seeking to follow in the cinematic footsteps of such Comedy Greats as Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello and Martin and Lewis, Kay and Peele work hard and make the most of modern movie mores by swearing fit to bust (as befits their characters and the milieu in which they are appearing) while delivering foul-mouthed fun.

Next time around, however, they could do with a shorter film or more comic material.

Apparently some seven cats portrayed Keanu and, between them, they steal the show in their/his every scene.

Comedy legend W C Fields said it all when he stated: "Never work with animals or children”.

So it’s probably a solo career for Keanu from now on.

Alan Frank

USA 2016. UK Distributor: Warner. Colour.
99 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 2, Swearing 3.

Review date: 16 Jul 2016