Fans of their top-notch Key & Peele work – the comic gold that goes viral, not the hit-or-miss deep cuts from the back half of each Comedy Central episode – will be happy to learn that the duo’s sensibility translates well to the feature-film format, where their absurdist instincts are hurried along by a well-oiled action-comedy plot.
The setup is Lebowski-an: Drug lords kidnap Keanu, the adopted kitten of a Hollywood stoner-slacker (Peele), and he and his uptight cousin (Key) must infiltrate the Los Angeles gang world to recover the kitty. The comedy is more Ace Ventura: Pet Detective-broad than Coen clever, but it works. The throughline is an extended fish-out-of-water gag of polite, middle-class black men putting on “street” affectations and living out a fantasy/nightmare of cartoonish American blackness. Method Man, a cornrowed Will Forte, and especially Anna Faris – playing herself – do memorable turns.
How do you review a work in progress? Judging by the welcoming reaction from the well-lubricated midnight SXSW audience, the film doesn’t have far to go. It should play and please widely.
Source: Austin Chronicle