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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Boys Night Out Brings Repercussions

Keanu (2016) on IMDb

Plot Overview

A running drug manufacturing operation in L.A. belonging to one King Diaz (Ian Casselberry) gets blasted to smithereens by the enigmatic Allen­town Brothers while the King kitty cat mascot Iglesias skedaddles. After wandering the streets, resourceful Iglesias wheedles his way into the suburban abode of a recently dumped (“Daisy Broke up with me”) slacker (“She said my life wasn't going any­where”) Rell (Jordan Peele) who names the cat [pronounce all three syllables] Keanu (“I think it means ‘cool breeze’ in Hawaiian.”) Rell's cousin Clarence (Keegan-Michael Key) arrives to comfort him but finds him surprisingly chipper.

A week later Clarence's wife Hannah (Nia Long) leaves on a planned trip with friends for their daughters to play together. She wants Clarence to enjoy him­self while she's gone, so Clarence and Rell go to the Cinerama to see the movie of the year, a Liam Neeson film. They return to find the cat's been taken and the place trashed.

In this send-up of a Liam Neeson routine, the kittynappers are really bad, the 17th Street Blips (gang members who'd been kicked out of the Bloods and Crips for being too violent), led by the cheesy thug Cheddar (Method Man) who renames the cat … entrée ‘New Jack’. Short on caution but long on audacity homeo­pathic African-Americans Rell and Clarence channel their inner niggers—I'm not making this stuff up—to impress Cheddar they're super­predators come to do a deal, and Cheddar buys it (“You them Allen­town niggers, ain't ya?”) In exchange for their new “gang mascot”, Rell and Clarence—in their characters of ‘Tectonic’ and ‘Shark Tank’—must tutor mild Cheddar's men Trunk (Darrell Britt-Gibson), Bud (Jason Mitchell) & Stitches (Jamal Neighbors) and woman ‘Hi-C’ (Tiffany Haddish) during a drug run (“Watch and Learn.”) A police intervention makes them too successful when, “We taught them how we do things in Allentown.”


“Keanu” opens on the Diaz Church massacre and closes on some swelling sacred music, there being a crucifix hood ornament and some religious music—“I gotta have faith”—in the middle. If we didn't see a religious connection, we'd think we missed some­thing, but what is it? We can rearrange some letters of ‘The Allentown Brothers’ to spell ‘noAh’. Similarly for Cheddar's club, ‘Hot Party Vixens’ > ‘noaH’. And of course ‘Shark Tank’ > ‘ark’. That could just be a coincidental reference to Noah's Ark, but the movie starts the same way as does that story when the judgment of God (Allentown Bros flipping killing 100, global flood) appeared. It was sudden in the midst of making marriages (Luke 17:27)—in this case break­ups. “Like­wise also as it was in the days of Lot: … they planted, they built” (Luke 17:28) as in an up and running drug manufacturing business.

The animals escaping in the ark are here represented by the cat whose name meant ‘cool breeze’. He's reflected in Noah's story by the wind that calms the waters, (Gen. 8:1) “And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged;”

In “Keanu” Rell and Clarence are cousins-german; they have one and the same grandmother (& grandfather). Clarence's friend Spencer (Rob Huebel) is not related to them—he's White. In the Genesis account of the Flood is another mystery woman, the mother of Ham. (Gen. 6:10) “And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.” Let's look again at Noah's story (Jasher 5:14-17):

And the Lord said unto Noah, Take unto thee a wife, and beget children, for I have seen thee righteous before me in this generation. And thou shalt raise up seed, and thy children with thee, in the midst of the earth; and Noah went and took a wife, and he chose Naamah the daughter of Enoch, and she was five hundred and eighty years old. And Noah was four hundred and ninety-eight years old, when he took Naamah for a wife. And Naamah conceived and bare a son, and he called his name Japheth, saying, God has enlarged me in the earth; and she conceived again and bare a son, and he called his name Shem, saying, God has made me a remnant, to raise up seed in the midst of the earth.

Shem and Japheth were full brothers, Ham was born at a later date (the youngest, see Gen. 9:24) perhaps from a different mother. Noah's wife was older than he was. Perhaps at 580+ years she was no longer able to bear children after the first two. She didn't have any more after the flood, even though it was a time to repopulate the Earth. Maybe she stopped bearing before the flood. Ham would then be a half brother of the other two.

Researcher Mark DeWayne Combs posits that, “Although Jasher specific­ally references the births of Japheth and Shem, there is no such reference to the birth of Ham. … that Ham may have been much younger than his brothers and that he may have had a different mother” (389). (See my review of “Project Almanac” for a fuller explanation.) Combs also observes, “Fathering a child, particularly a son, through a hand­maiden or servant girl would not have been an uncommon or forbidden practice in that time period” (165). Historian Kenneth M. Stampp remarks that “Apologists for slavery traced the history of servitude back to the dawn of civilization and showed that it had always existed in some form until their own day” (14).

Now, Noah had three sons, (Gen. 5:32) “And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.” A curious incident takes place after they have settled in the revived world, which will define human occupation hence­forth. Gen. 9:20-22, Noah got drunk on wine and was exposed in all his glory to his son Ham who brazenly viewed him so. Noah's other two sons, Shem and Japheth, covered him up, Gen. 9:23. Ham had violated him in some way that Noah sniffed out upon awakening, Gen. 9:24. Noah's curse puts Ham's youngest son Canaan in a position of servitude, Gen. 9:25. Noah's other two sons Shem, Gen. 9:26, and Japheth, Gen. 9:27, were blessed by Noah. The blessing of Shem was shared by Japheth who was to dwell in the tents of Shem. Canaan in Ham's line was probably singled out for mention because of the Canaanites' later dealings with the Semitic Israelites. More germane to modern times is perhaps the lineage of Cush. Cush was also a son of Ham (Gen. 10:6), settling in Africa. Cush in Hebrew means black. Researcher Bodie Hodge confirms that “As a general trend, Ham is the father of many peoples in Africa” (122). Dr. Ide adds, “Ham sired four sons: Cush (translates as ‘black’) … and Canaan the youngest” (62).

In “Keanu” Clarence averts his eyes when he has to step into the strippers' dressing room to take a cell phone call from his wife, and Rell accepts a blanket from the cops when they arrive on the scene. These two would represent Noah's two sons who favored modesty. Spencer, though, is the friend Clarence's wife who remarked on the phone that, “Spencer's been a little inappropriate.” For that he earned him­self a sock on the jaw, which redounded to an improved sex life for the other two. The judgment against Ham's son(s) helped set the stage straight for the rest of human­kind repopulating the Earth. Clarence was a corporate team builder (“Team Goobril”) and Rell a graphic artist whose illustrations fit in with the corporate culture just as Japheth was integrated into the tents of Shem. Ham and Spencer were outliers. In this movie Spencer is White showing we're not racists, at least no more than necessary. Noah is some kind of every­man's “father figure” reflected in George Michael's song the brothers play. The Allen­town Brothers embody Noah's judgment who hasn't got our memo that we're treating all races equally now. Wait until the final (brief) scene at the very end of the credits to see how that issue is laid to rest. The kitty collage that plays with the credits represents the rain­bow sign of Gen. 9:11-13 that there wont' be any more global flooding.

Production Values

This film, “” (2016) was directed by Peter Atencio. It was written by Jordan Peele and Alex Rubens. It stars Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Method Man, Nia Long, Luis Guzmán, and Tiffany Haddish with cameos by Will Forte, Anna Faris, George Michael (music) and Keanu Reeves (the voice of Keanu.)

MPAA rated it R for violence, language through­out, drug use and sexuality/nudity. The movie contained songs by both George Michael and Future, the former used in a clever comedy routine. The direction in “Keanu” is sketchy, all the humor deriving from improvisation. Stay through the credits until the company logo displays to catch the scene depicting one final loose end.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

This film was quite amusing, I thought. It proceeds at an even pace while keeping one guessing until the end. The animal star was one cute kitten(s).

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action flick. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall product rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software. Print.

Combs, Mark DeWayne. End the Beginning. USA: Splinter in the Mind's Eye Pub., 2014. Print.

Hodge, Bodie. Tower of Babel: The Cultural History of Our Ancestors. Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Pub., 2013. Print.

Ide, Arthur Frederick. Noah & the Ark: The Influence of Sex, Homo­phobia and Hetero­sexism in the Flood Story and its Writing. Las Colinas: Monument Press, 1992. Print.

The Book of Jasher. Trans­lated from the Hebrew into English (1840). Photo litho­graphic reprint of exact edition published by J.H. Parry & Co., Salt Lake City: 1887. Muskogee, OK: Artisan Pub., 1988. Print, WEB.

Stampp, Kenneth M., Professor of American History at the University of California (Berkeley).
   The Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South. Vintage Books, 1955. Print.