US is Different

BY: KIMBERLY ALSUP

I had the opportunity to attend an advance screening of US this week. Shout out to Jordan Peele with putting young black kids on the screen that gave powerful performances not only as one character but two. Absolutely phenomenal. This film had its share of problems that I will discuss in a minute but I predict this will be another Oscar nomination for Jordan Peele.

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With her husband, son and daughter in tow, Adelaide Wilson returns to her childhood beachfront home. Haunted by traumatic events from the past, Adelaide grows increasing concerned that something bad is going to happen to her family. Her worst nightmare comes true when four masked assailants approach the house. Now, the Wilsons are fighting for survival.

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Now let’s talk about how this film failed. In a word the film was underwhelming. I don’t know if it was all the hype surrounding it or if it was because Get Out did so great. Now, I am not naïve enough to believe that this won’t sell out theaters and people will see it regardless because it’s Jordan Peele. Either way it was underwhelming. It started off on a bad note when it moved very slow and we were left waiting for something to happen in the first 30-45 minutes. There was absolutely no action to keep the story going along. I don’t think that Jordan Peele thought that the audience would pay attention to the dialogue during this slow open but I was and he lied to us right off which made the ending voiding out the entire film. Due to the slow beginning made him actually rush the ending which gave the ending a lazy conclusion. Adelaide is looking at the son in the car and they just stare at it each other and then it goes to the creepy Hands Across America scene. Had it not gone so slow at the beginning, there would’ve been more time to tell more of the story at the end.

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How did he lie you ask…great question? Lupita Nyong’o character Adelaide when she mentioned why she couldn’t go with the family to the beach house, which is a whole other issue that I will get to in a minute, but she mentioned that she was afraid that the evil girl would come for her which in the end of the movie we find out that the two young girls switched places made no sense. Another question was how did her husband not know why she didn’t want to go to the beach house, they have been together for a while and he never knew? Yeah that is not believable, and they had been several times to this beach house and now this time she has a problem. Yeah no. She also caved in really quickly after he pressed her on the issue.

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This film was also riddled with things that Black people would never do. When the doubles were standing outside of the beach house holding hands in a very creepy way, we would never go outside and investigate. That’s not the people that we are, we are stay inside type of people. The way he went outside and very properly and polite asking what they want was not it. Then when they continued to stand there and not move and he went back into the house to call the cops and then get a bat to go back outside. But when he went back outside which is way out of the norm for Black people he was still very proper and polite. You do not bring a bat to a gun/knife and in this case a scissor fight. Fast forward to when the doubles had entered the house, why did everyone but the husband not realize that they were doubles of them. He kept thinking they wanted his money.

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The theme and the message behind the film was not something that you pick up on immediately, unless I am thinking too hard about it. There are too many things that you are trying to pay attention to, what is up with the bunnies, hands across America images, Jeremiah 11:11 reference, and the scissors. The only thing that I can think is that we are not our true selves and we need to cut the cord to our evilness and that is what the scissors are all about. I have to be honest and say that this wasn’t really a thriller for me as I laughed more than I was thrilled. Partly because by the time that the action got going it was like, well okay then and why is this cheesy. But I implore you to create your own opinion and go see the film yourself.

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Written and Directed by Jordan Peele. Starring Academy Award Winner Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke.

In Theaters, March 22 everywhere.

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