This is not… US

Title: Us (2019)   
Director: Jordan Peele   
Writer: Jordan Peele
Studio: Blumhouse Productions  //  Universal Pictures   

IMDb Plot: A family's serene beach vacation turns to chaos when their doppelgängers appear and begin to terrorize them.

Joe Says: Us isn’t sure if it should be slasher horror or a meta comedy. As a result, the horror scenes appear unintentionally humorous. The comedic beats too much of a stretch. The Big Reveal is more of head scratcher than head turner.

Jordan Peele no doubt wants each of his artistic creations to stand on their own.

They do. And they should.

And yet.

Us film by Jordan Peele

The Academy Award-winning behemoth that is Get Out will always be his benchmark. And rightfully so. That said, for his sophomore film, Us, as enjoyable as it is, is a tougher film to get in.

Whereas Get Out could be plainly viewed as a thriller, the viewer is dared to dive deeper into the social commentary for an ironically more-satisfying story. With Us, Peele is asking for a much deeper, and not quite as refreshing dive.

Us is beautifully made and fantastically acted. Lupita Nyong’o elevates every film she is in. Academy take note: she has space on a shelf for more Oscar gold. She plays the matriarch of a normal family out on vacation who must soon race from death, and scissors, by insane jumpsuit-wearing versions of themselves. “We’re Americans,” the mirror-mirror version of Nyong’o boasts. True that, but for a voyeuristic film, Peele keeps any origin-story insights in a tight, ahem, twilight zone.

Peele clearly has a message to broadcast on duality. Everyone wears masks; some are simply more noticeable. He is asking the viewer to decide on which shadow runs the longest. Unfortunately this duality makes Us a more uneven film than it should be.

 Us isn’t sure if it should be slasher horror or a meta comedy. As a result, the horror scenes appear unintentionally humorous. The comedic beats too much of a stretch.

If anything, the film is original. And enjoyable. Unfortunately, his Shyamalan-istic reveal is more of head scratcher than head turner.

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