Skip to main content

"Us" Is a Really Weird Movie, And Isn't That Great?: Review

Film Review: Us

There's a lot to be said about the new movie Us. Don't worry, I won't spoil anything about the plot, all you need to know is that it's a horror movie about a family who encounters it's doppelgängers. Us, Jordan Peele's follow-up to Get Out, is wacky and wild and sure to be polarizing.

It has been five full years since Lupita Nyong'o won an Oscar and this is basically her first leading role in a movie. I find few things more frustrating than when Hollywood fails to capitalize on exciting talent. But thank god for Jordan Peele, who has given Nyong'o a doozy of a role, or double role rather, as the actors also play their doppelgängers. She inhabits the two characters, one a protective mother and the other a crazed killer, by changing her movements in ways that are strangely complimentary. It's thrilling to watch. Nyong'o's screen presence has a commanding elegance that recalls the best of Old Hollywood stars. I'm so glad an interesting filmmaker has decided to put it to good use.

That filmmaker has created an entire world of bizarre and captivating images. Influences from the likes of Kubrick can readily be found, but it all comes together in a way that feels like we are watching Peele's singular vision. While the visuals are top-notch, the screenplay isn't quite as cohesive. It suffers occasionally from having too much to say, leaving some ideas unfortunately unexamined. Also, aside from the chilling sequence when the doppelgängers first arrive, I didn't find it to be that scary.

Peele has stated that he deliberately made the film to be open to multiple interpretations, unlike Get Outmaking a one-to-one analogy difficult. But to me, it is clearly a movie about the class divide. It's about the responsibilities that go along with being part of a community (for which the central family stands in as an only somewhat apt metaphor) and what it means to choose helping yourself over helping everyone. I'm sure different people will have different takeaways from the film's messaging, but that's what was running through my mind while I was watching Us

What did YOU think of Us? Leave a comment below! Thanks for reading!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Oscar 2020: Who Will Win?

2020 Oscars Predictions and Preview
I was not planning on making Oscar predictions this year because I'm in London for the semester and I have better things to do. But I'm doing laundry and have some time to kill, so I figured I'd give it a shot. While I have not been following awards season as closely this year as in past ones, I did get the closest to it than I've ever been before when I had the opportunity to be in the red carpet viewing area for the BAFTAs last weekend. What a thrill it was seeing all of this year's big players maneuver through the crowded carpet and pose for photos. Renee Zellweger was there, as was Charlize Theron, Margot Robbie, Bong Joon Ho, Quentin Tarantino, Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, Saorise Ronan, Florence Pugh, Greta Gerwig & Noah Baumbach, Laura Dern, Al Pacino and Joaquin Phoenix, all of whom are also Oscar nominees. 

As for what's going to happen this Sunday, I'm not anticipating many surprises. For instance, the ac…

HBO Max: Full Breakdown (Plus Five Recommendations You Can Stream Right Now)

At launch, HBO Max, the brand new streaming service from WarnerMedia, is offering 10,000 hours of content. That's an eye-catching number, even if it's not a third of what Netflix offers. But unlike the steady stream of total junk that Netflix spits out every week, HBO Max has many shows and movies that are actually worth watching. 
From popular recent movies to a vast classic film library, from Friends to every show regular old HBO has produced (Sex and the City, the Sopranos, Game of Thrones, Succession, etc.), the number of options is kind of staggering. If you aren't already signed up (if you have HBO, you probably have this too), definitely check it out. 
The website's infrastructure has been largely carried over from HBO Now, HBO's existing standalone streaming service, so it's pretty smooth and easy to use. The organization of all the content is solid, if not spectacular. Emphasized are what are called "HBO Max Hubs," which are dedicated pages for…

Scoob! Review: Scooby Doo's Big Screen Reboot is a Dud

The new film, premiering in people's homes because movie theaters are closed, is an attempt to launch a new shared cinematic universe based on old Hanna-Barbera cartoons. The result is characters from other old shows getting awkardly interpolated in the story of the Mystery Inc gang. Dynomutt and the Blue Falcon (Dynomutt, Dog Wonder) show up, as does DeeDee (Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels, whatever that is). The main villain is Dick Dastardly (Wacky Races), who comes complete with some Minions ripoff robot sidekicks and a plan that involves opening a portal to the underworld or something. It's all very incongruous with the classic Scooby formula, in which the supernatural was almost always revealed to be smoke and mirrors. 
The humor is aggressively topical, referencing smartphones and Tinder and Hemsworths. None of it is very funny, least of all a cameo by Simon Cowell. Is he still relevant? 
Like the recent Charlie's Angles reboot, Scoob! drags its source material in…