A large part of the fun of Jordan Peele’s Us is the fact that you never really know what it’s going to do and just when you think you’ve got your finger on the pulse of this movie, the film does a flip and you find that your finger is up your own nose. Let me put it this way… Us is a roller-coaster ride if the tracks suddenly exploded and your roller-coaster car was on fire and I mean that in the best possible way.
As Us is one of those rare wonderful movies that work best the less you know about it, I’ll only say that this is the story of a family who are terrorized by what appear to be dark copies of themselves. Where do they come from? What do they want? Oh, brother… those are the wrong questions.
Us delights in subverting expectations. What looks like a siege movie akin to The Purge unexpectedly becomes something different and greater and then, what looks like a different and greater movie, goes absolutely bonkers and becomes something else. To sit through this movie and never know what it’s going to throw at you next is a true joy… an absolute joy.
Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke and the rest of the cast are given so many delicious dramatic opportunities to shine in this movie and take advantage of every single one of them. Nyong’o in particular plays both the dark and light side of her dual roles with such vigor and grace that you often forget that each character is being played by the same actress. True, some of her mannerisms as the dark copy elicited some laughs from the audience, but that is what makes this character so unsettling… the unnaturalness of it all.
This movie is an ambitious effort by Jordan Peele, arguably even more ambitious that Get Out. This movie is so unlike anything that has come before that its originality is one of its biggest strengths. As I said, you never know where this is going… it’s the new and the new, in my book, is so very welcome.
What is also present is Peele’s social commentary, though I feel that it is a little more discreet than the commentary in Get Out. Us is a movie about the fear of the other… the aliens in our own borders. The atrocities committed by those who society deems inferior… all hidden in the frames of a very well-directed and well acted horror movie. Us is the kind of film that not only surprises and entertains, but also leaves questions in the viewers mind and gets the brain thinking about them. This is a movie that could spark debate and discussion and those movies are often the best movies.
Needless to say, Us has my full recommendation.