Us ★★½

Where parts carefully added up in Get Out, able to stack reason upon reason and find new revelations that all lined up snugly, they twirl in the excessive landscape of Jordan Peele’s follow-up, Us; so many "why's" do not resolve into storytelling or even dream logic. There is intrigue, for sure, involving class, nature vs nurture, the guilt of success that pushes another down, and the marketed (false) promise of Hands Across America (?!) but there are so many additives that are there not as tethers but just as diversions (clocks striking 11:11, frisbees landing on circles perfectly, and rabbits underground). The concept of Us is simpler than Get Out but the elongated pace affords so many more misnomers. Like Get Out, talking through the film afterward provides some interesting insights, but unlike Get Out there are so many unresolved questions that knock the film down in my estimation. And don't get me wrong, there are some great moments in Us (the distance from the family in the cold open, Elisabeth Moss' plastic surgery being replicated in another way, a bay of blood callback to Friday the 13th), and some great use of music, but the whole methodology is a little hokey. Just like the promise of Hands Across America.

Consider the premiere viewing a bookmark placed into a very mixed reaction (the theater ate it up, laughing and screaming, and saying "hell no" every few seconds, most of which didn't register for me). I'll see this again to see where I truly lay down.

Side note: Very excited for Lupita Nyong'o Leading Actress; her dual role here is making up for Hollywood's complete misuse of her ever since she won an Oscar.

EDIT: I saw it again and I landed in the same mixed place; some elements, such as the cold open with the parents barely visible, played even better, but the entire third act, with linked arms and underground tunnels, just played even cornier to me. I love the score when they get to the beach for the first time, though. And Winston Duke's Joran Peele impersonation, in a much larger frame, is expert.

Ultimately, Us is too much and too little at the same time; above ground: I want more, below ground: I want less.

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