by Marissa Hock
I’ll be honest. The main reason I went to see Keanu was the kitten. While the movie looked amusing, I probably would have waited to watch it when it ended up on Netflix. Yet, as a certified crazy cat lady who is thrilled that our society is also currently obsessed with cats, I couldn’t pass up seeing a movie centered on a kitten, much less one that had the magical cuteness ability to charm every person he came across.
Keanu features the comedy duo Key and Peele, playing Clarence and Rell. After Rell is dumped by his girlfriend, he finds joy in an adorable stray kitten who ends up on his door step. Keanu effectively saves Rell from depression and brings purpose back into his life. Unfortunately, the kitten is stolen which leaves Rell heartbroken once again. So Clarence and Rell set out on a journey to find the lost creature and end up becoming inadvertently intertwined with gangsters and the underground world of drugs.
One of the endearing aspects of the movie is how much everyone loves this little cat. As a contrast to the harshness of gangster life, these hard core criminals all seem to crumble at the sight of Keanu. While the gangsters engage in some pretty violent acts to try to have Keanu as their own, they are still acting outside their element and caring about something other than the usual money and drugs. Clarence and Rell also take risks outside their normal lives and go above and beyond to get the kitten back. Perhaps Keanu symbolizes something deeper, that we are all seeking purpose in life and will do anything to keep that purpose once we’ve found it. Likewise, no matter how corrupt and complicated life can get, we all want to embrace something that helps us feel secure and reminds us of our innocence. Keanu also shows that no matter where we come from, what we look like, or even if we’re on the wrong or right side of the law, we all have the ability to love in general and the ability to love something other than ourselves.
Some of the funniest parts of the movie involve nods to actor Keanu Reeves and singer-songwriter George Michael, the kitten calendar photo shoot, when Keanu saves the day on several occasions, and finding out that he has an incurable disease – Keanu will remain a kitten forever! While parts of the movie moved a little slow, it was overall an enjoyable film. My one complaint is that it needed more kitten time. Yes, you heard me right. The best parts of the movie featured this lovable little guy whose adorable little meows made me squeal more than I probably should have. But then again, I’m skewed and could watch cat videos on-line for hours. Most importantly, I know what at least one of my cats will be for Halloween this year and will be on the lookout for the Keanu gangster cat outfit. So if you don’t mind a little violence, love cats, and want to see something funny that perhaps has a deeper meaning, Keanu is a great pick.