Author Topic: Us (2019)  (Read 280 times)

Offline westendboy

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Us (2019)
« on: March 29, 2019, 18:24 »


Jordan Peele burst onto the scene in 2017 with Get Out, a sly whip-smart satire of our current world wrecked day in day out with racial tension and inequality. Peele deservedly won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. One can never see his sophomore effort Us without comparing with his compelling debut. For this reviewer, the high wire act of marrying a home invasion narrative with a social comment on class is a wobbly one. Full marks for the ambitious effort though.

In order to get away from their busy lives, the Wilson family takes a vacation to Santa Cruz, California with the plan of spending time with their friends, the Tyler family. On a day at the beach, their young son Jason (Evan Alex) almost wanders off, causing his mother Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) to become protective of her family. That night, four mysterious people break into the Wilsons’ home where they’re staying. The family is shocked to find out that the intruders look like and talk like them, only with grotesque appearances.

Us is just too busy juggling with too many concepts – attacks by doppelgängers, nasty home invasion, horror elements, some nefarious government conspiracy, a commentary on the white upperclass. It isn’t quite a clusterf*ck with some unnerving scenes that are still playing in my mind on nights I can’t sleep, but neither does it coalesced into something that is truly transcending.

The main reason it didn’t fall apart is because of Lupita Nyong’o’s stellar performance. She plays dual roles that stand so far apart that I had trouble seeing the same actress in both roles. She is the glue that cemented all the disparate narratives together into a force of nature.

Nonetheless, I have to give a shout-out to Peele who came out with a sophomore effort that is original and risky. It may have felt bloated by all the high concepts, but it still has a lot of love for Twilight Zone zaniness. Being weaned on Twilight Zone, I could look past all the time-fillers waiting patiently to gobble up the final twist. Sadly, for this reviewer, I could see it from the beginning. Blame it on me watching too many Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and the likes. I say all this, but I must also share with you that the people sitting on my right and my wifey’s left were gobbling up Us with heightened senses. My wife was sharing with me that the dude next to her practically jumped up in fright and hollered like he was being attacked by his doppelgänger. That’s the beauty of stories – it works differently for everyone.

 
3.5 / 5

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