By Garrett Wheeler, Contributing Writer
“Us” follows a family played by Lupi-ta Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex.
They are enjoying a vacation in Santa Cruz when all of a sudden, they find exact copies of themselves standing out on their yard.
They must do what they can to fend off their clones while pondering why they are here and what they want.
“Get Out” was one of the biggest surprises of 2017.
It was funny, tense and smartly written with some of the cleverest twists and social commentary I’ve seen in a film.
The fact that it was written and directed by comedian Jordan Peele of MadTV and Key and Peele fame made it all the more surprising.
Needless to say, I was very excited to see “Us,” especially considering the trailers looked promising.
And I must say, “Us” did not disappoint.
From what I’ve seen so far, Jordan Peele has a knack for taking something that sounds initially simple but going all out with it.
As a result, the story presented is riveting.
It’s full of great ten-sion that permeates throughout the entire film.
But what truly makes the film gripping is the family itself.
Each member is likable, and they all play off each other very well. Their interactions were believable and highly entertaining.
They felt like a real family, and it was great seeing them spend time together. And that con-nection made it all the more exciting to watch them try and survive.
What amplifies the entertainment value of the family is the perfor-mances.
The main cast are phenomenal not just as normal people, but also as their creepy doppel-gangers.
Lupita Nyong’o in particular is fantastic.
The contrast between her two characters is truly outstanding, and she nails the comedy and the drama in every scene.
However, Winston Duke plays my favorite character of the film.
He is the quintessential dorky dad and I love him. He is endlessly entertaining throughout.
Aesthetically, this film is an improvement over “Get Out.”
It’s not a knock on “Get Out” in any way, but I can tell Jordan Peele has improved as a director in such a short time.
The cinematography is beautiful, the shot compositions are more interesting, the use of color is creative and the musical score is outstanding.
As a visual and audio presence, this film leaves more of an impact than “Get Out.”
Again, I’m not saying “Get Out” is bad in terms of aesthetics. “Us” is just better in those aspects.
However, I don’t think the “Us’s” script is as strong as “Get Out’s”.
It’s not bad by any means, but there are more flaws here. There are some dialogue moments that came across as corny.
Plus, the meshing of intense psychological drama and lighthearted comedy did not receive the balance that “Get Out” had.
Tonally, this film is not very consistent.
The biggest flaw this has is its use of ambiguity.
There are some elements that are ambiguous and some that are not. As a result, the film is not completely logically sound.
It’s a movie that if you think really hard about it, you will be able to pull the plot apart.
I’m not saying “Get Out” was a fully realistic story, but the way it was executed made logical sense and left no room for error.
“Us” was a little too hard to follow in terms of making sense. I know there are a lot of theories about what everything means, but they’re just theories.
I think if the film went all the way one way or another, the narrative would be stronger.
Despite its flaws, “Us” was a blast. It was a creepy, clever horror film with a great concept and great execution.
I do think “Get Out” is the overall better movie, but I personally had more fun with “Us”.
It’s not perfect, but its positives make me mostly forget the negatives, even if those negatives are quite prominent.
If you liked “Get Out”, then I think you’ll like this one. As for me, I am very excited to see “Us” again. Final score: 8/10 (Great)