You sound like Richard Pryor doing an impression of a white guy.
Well . . . you sound like John Ritter. All the time.
After the demise of their brilliant sketch comedy show, Key & Peele headed to the big screen with this bizarre feature film debut. That’s Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key, if you don’t know, and they’ve manage to make a film that’s been pretty divisive. A lot of people have loved it, others have been extremely mixed and others found almost nothing of any interest. For my part, it feels like kind of a home-run. It’s the story of a kitten so cute that everyone wants it; Key & Peele play the regular guys who are after the cat because they love it. But they’ll have to face a Mexican drug lord, a street gang pushing a super-dangerous new drug strain and, most terrifyingly of all, a pair of psycho killers, all of whom want the kitten because, honestly, it’s just the cutest kitten ever. The latter pair are also played by Key and Peele, unrecognizable in heavy makeup, long dreads and long black trench-coats. The film has the same tone as the sketch show and thank God; surely no one wanted the comedy duo to go mainstream in hopes of capturing a larger audience. There are certainly jokes here and there that fall flat, but the film is one of the funnier film comedies of the last few years and certainly the strangest (not counting Deadpool, I suppose). As the duo goes undercover in the drug underworld, their adventures go so many wacky directions that I don’t even want to get into it for fear of spoiling the surprises as they come. I just can’t resist telling you there’s a great cameo; surely that’s not enough of a spoiler to ruin the cameo when it comes. And I’ll say that the psycho killer duo becomes genuinely scary in a kind of horror movie way by the time the movie’s over. The supporting cast is decent. The standouts are Tiffany Haddish as a street-wise drug dealer and Jason Mitchell, fresh from his award-worthy turn as Eazy-E on Straight Outta Compton, as a charismatic young tough guy named Bud. There are, as I said, patches of the film that aren’t hilarious, but there are also long, long stretches that are non-stop brilliance and even when the film isn’t being completely on point, I found it to be entertaining enough. I’ll just point out that the film opens with a George Michael joke and such is the rhythm that Key & Peele have found that the joke is FUNNIER every time they go back to it and it just keeps unfolding in a brilliant fashion. Humor is subjective and Key & Peele have a very particular tone and voice – I love it, but you may not. Regardless, they’re kind of a throw-back to a different time; when was the last time there was an actual “comedy team?” And long may this team prosper, if Keanu is any indication of the kind of work they’re going to be putting forward from here on out. This kind of humor is right in my wheelhouse and even I can admit there are things that don’t work, but still, this is one you’ve really just got to see. 4 stars.
tl;dr – comedy duo Key & Peele translate their very particular style of comedy to the big-screen with this strange, consistently hilarious & totally charming film; long may they prosper. 4 stars.