Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan



Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are one of the best sketch-comedy teams since the early days of SNL. I have not watched their show, but have seen many of their bits on YouTube. Both of them are half white and half black. Do you think that’s why they can function so well with both races? They have one bit where they are two slaves on the auction block, getting more and more frustrated because old, skinny, and short guys are being bid on, and they are not. Maybe the only funny joke about slavery I’ve ever seen, because it is so true to some perversity of human nature. They take their ability to be very, very “white” to this movie.

Keanu is the sweetest, cutest, most cuddly little puddy tat I taut I ever taw. But he is owned by a very bad drug dealer. Two super-bad killers (Key and Peele, but almost unrecognizable) arrive and slaughter everyone in his drug-packaging operation. One of them takes a shine to the kitten, takes him away, but the cat escapes, and winds up at the apartment of Rell (Peele), who is deeply depressed. Keanu cheers him right up … but his apartment is robbed and the cat escapes again. His friend Clarence (Key) figures out Keanu is probably in the custody of Cheddar, head of the Blips gang. These are guys who were thrown out of the Bloods and the Crips because they were too mean. So they set out to get him back.

The trouble is that these guys are totally middle-class suburban dudes, so whitebread that Clarence’s favorite singer is George Michael. They must somehow convince these street bad-asses that they are just as bad-ass, or even badder-assed. They adopt the hastily-picked street names of Techtonic and Shark Tank, and the fun begins.

And it is fun, for about 2/3 of the movie, maybe even 3/4. But in the end the premise isn’t really strong enough to sustain a 99-minute movie. The jokes begin to seem repetitive, and it all gets stretched pretty thin. I still enjoyed it, and recommend it, with reservations.