Film Review: Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Gets Bogged Down in Conventionality

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CHICAGO – Like his first film, “Get Out,” writer/director Jordan Peele creates a horror/thriller filled with symbolism and laughs. Unlike “Get Out,” “Us” is awash in overly concentrated plot points, a reliance on lesser references and an ending that can be seen from outer space. It’s not sophomore “jinx,” but more like the sophomore “over think.” Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

The film tells its story more on the pursuit-and-confrontation style of horror/thriller than the more subtle social tale of “Get Out.” Psychologically, the story is more high concept than its predecessor, and its scares come from hitching to some pretty bizarre level science fiction. However, the same Peele lightness and fun are present, as well as a series of symbols that African American studies can put into their curriculum. Since the film’s main theme is duality, the issue of identity is front and center, and that always is a an interesting point of contemplation.

The film begins in 1986, the era of “Thriller” and “Hands Across America.” Adelaide, a young African American girl, is separated from her parents at a carnival, and gets lost in a house of mirrors. The reflection she sees in the chamber haunts her for years, despite using dance and art to help heal that fright. In present day, the grown Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) has a family which includes husband Gabe (Winston Duke), plus children Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and Jason (Evan Alex).

On vacation at their summer home, they meet up with friends Josh (Tim Heidecker) and Kitty (Elisabeth Moss), and their twin daughters. Later, an evening at home, the family also encounters an odd jumpsuit wearing reflection of themselves. These mirror-image folks begin an attack, which is linked to a secret society that is looking to escape their circumstances. This begins to happen all over the world.

“Us” opens everywhere on March 22nd. Featuring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex. Written and directed by Jordan Peele. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “US

Mama Bear Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o, upper left) in ‘Us’
Photo credit: Universal Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “US

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