Saturday, February 17, 2018
Things To Do

Review: 'Keanu' needs funnier tension — or perhaps more kitty cat

The usual knock on TV sketch comedians moving into movies is that hilarious five-minute ideas get stretched to lousy feature length. Superstar, MacGruber or A Night at the Roxbury, anyone?

Not Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, or simply Key and Peele, as Comedy Central watchers know them. Their method of deflating Keanu is just the opposite; a great feature-length idea stunted by overlooking its full potential and settling for easy comedic beats. Punchlines don't get funnier when they're repeated to pad a running time.

The title character is an aww-dorable tabby, introduced while leaping and sliding for its life in slo-mo through a bloody gunpowder ballet. If the action seems familiar, it's supposed to; Keanu is above all a Hollywood spoof, in this case kidding those Joel Silver-era buddy action flicks like Lethal Weapon and Die Hard.

The cat, when it's stolen by drug dealers, makes it personal for a pair of nerd cousins, bummed-out, bonged-out Rell (Peele) and Clarence (Key), whose practical whiteness is measured by his worship of George Michael's music, a riff the script plays too many times. Rell and Clarence adopt gang personas named Tectonic and Shark Tank, infiltrating the Blips (washouts from the Bloods and Crips) to bring Keanu back safely.

Keanu rolls out the genre's hoariest tropes, from twitchy snitch to topless club clues and applies one or two initially amusing riffs on the subject before it's dropped for another. If the subject returns, it likely won't be broached in any different fashion.

Just like action movies become numbing as bullet casings and bodies pile up, Keanu's third act becomes tiresome with its lack of anything fresher coming after midway through. Originality and my attention checked out when Anna Faris showed up as a designer drug-addicted version of herself, the first in a series of flat set pieces.

Keanu is raucous enough to satisfy the Hangover crowd, yet when compared to Key and Peele's trenchant tomfoolery on television, it needs focused anger, funnier tension. Or perhaps simply more kitty cat.

Contact Steve Persall at [email protected] or (727) 893-8365. Follow @StevePersall.

Comments
Review: Kelsea Ballerini gets close to fans, digs into ‘Unapologetically’ at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

Review: Kelsea Ballerini gets close to fans, digs into ‘Unapologetically’ at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

Kelsea Ballerini has a story to tell. It's the story of the last three crazy years of her life, from a breakup to the Grammys to a marriage and all the "life, growing up, self-discovery" in between.If you heard her new album Unapologetically, it's a ...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Saturday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYAutosXfinity: PowerShares QQQ 300 qualifying9:30 a.m.FS1Xfinity: PowerShares QQQ 3002:30 p.m.FS1College baseballIllinois-Chicago vs. Southern3:30 p.m.MLBAlabama State vs. New Orleans7 p.m.MLBCollege basketballSMU at UCF11 a.m.ESPNUSyracuse at Mi...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Five things that make Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Volta’ different and fun

Five things that make Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Volta’ different and fun

TAMPA — Cirque du Soleil is back in town with a new show.The Montreal-based company always puts on an extravaganza, splashing around color with the abandon of a toddler playing with paint buckets and a storyline several layers deep, the artistic skel...
Published: 02/16/18
It's been a long week, but tonight there's a French Fry Festival

It's been a long week, but tonight there's a French Fry Festival

We’re gonna need more ketchup. The St. Pete French Fry Festival, the one that was such a golden, crispy, rousing success in 2017 that you could barely move between bites of fried potato-ey goodness, returns to the city’s waterfront tonig...
Published: 02/16/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 18

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 18

Mutt Derby: Bring your non-aggressive dog for a day of dog races and other doggie games. Races will be done in weight divisions. All dogs racing must have proof of vaccinations. Greyhounds are welcome, but are not allowed to race. Benefits Greyhound ...
Published: 02/16/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 17

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 17

Bay Area Renaissance Festival: Highland Fling: The 2018 festival runs weekends through March 25 in a time-travel village of kings, queens, jousting, jugglers, mimes, madrigals, archery contests and a human chess match. 10 a.m., Museum of Science and ...
Published: 02/16/18
What to watch this weekend: ‘Everything Sucks!’ on Netflix, ‘Wreck-It-Ralph,’ ‘Star Trek’

What to watch this weekend: ‘Everything Sucks!’ on Netflix, ‘Wreck-It-Ralph,’ ‘Star Trek’

1996 MISFITS: EVERYTHING SUCKSAdd this one to your list if you were alive in the 1990s. Even if you weren't in high school, it's sure to bring back memories of Fruitopia, Oasis, flannel shirts and Alanis Morissette. Everything Sucks is a quirky comin...
Published: 02/16/18
Disney World announces June opening date for Toy Story Land

Disney World announces June opening date for Toy Story Land

Get ready for a playdate with Andy's toys. Disney World just announced the opening date for Toy Story Land. The area in Disney's Hollywood Studios is set to open June 30, just in time for the busy summer season, The Orlando park announced Friday on ...
Published: 02/16/18
‘Hello, Universe’ and ‘Wolf in the Snow’ top American Library Association awards for books for young readers

‘Hello, Universe’ and ‘Wolf in the Snow’ top American Library Association awards for books for young readers

The American Library Association announced its 2018 Youth Media Award winners Monday during its midwinter meeting in Denver.The annual awards honor books, video and audio for children and young adults and are highly regarded guides for booksellers, t...
Published: 02/16/18
Exploring Cuba-U.S. relations through art exhibit in Tampa

Exploring Cuba-U.S. relations through art exhibit in Tampa

The title of the exhibition currently on display at the Contemporary Art Museum at the University of South Florida could be misconstrued."Climate Change" doesn’t refer to the hot-button issue of global warming. Instead, the exhibition examines the ch...
Published: 02/16/18