Jordan Peele is quickly rising the ranks of Hollywood to become one of the best directors after only two movies. His 2017 hit Get Out was incredibly well received, earning several awards and a 99% percent on Rotten Tomatoes. After such an impressive directorial debut, expectations were high for Peele’s second film: Us. While not as well refined as Get Out, Us once again showcases Peele’s talent for making strong social commentary within an interesting thriller concept.
Us begins with a trip to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk in the early 1980’s, where little girl Adelaide, played by Lupita Nyong’o, veers off and notices something that changes her life in the mirror maze. It then fast forwards to modern day Santa Cruz, where Adelaide and her family are vacationing and visit the old boardwalk, beginning the series of troubles that befall the family. Attacked by clones of themselves at their home, the family must escape and kill the clones, of course with a few twists and tidbits of social commentary throughout that really make the movie something unique.
The acting in Us is top notch throughout the film, especially by Lupita Nyong’o. She manages to pull of being creepy, imposing, odd, and scary just by changing her facial expressions and body language. The story and the plot twist at the end would be much less impactful without her talent and ability to convince the audience that she really is Adelaide. The supporting cast also does an excellent job, although the majority of the movie is centered around Lupita. Winston Duke plays the role of Gabe, Adelaide’s husband, fitting in perfectly as the overconfident and naive character commonplace in horror films.
Jordan Peele is making his movies known for implementing social commentary in clever ways and Us is no different. The idea of the clones in the movie is meant to represent the working class of America while the real family is the upper class, oblivious to the struggles and needs of those below. By coming out of the shadows and killing the real humans above ground, the clones are making a statement that they matter too and will not be ignored or profited off of any longer. Peele’s genius is how he weaves this commentary about class in America within the plot of the movie without having it be incredibly obvious or overbearing on the story.
To top it off and make this movie even more intriguing and thought provoking, Peele adds a major plot twist at the end that makes you reconsider what just happened to the family and what will come ahead. Plot twists like these are signs of a very good writer and director, showcasing Peele’s ability to create all aspects of a movie well seeing as he wrote, directed, and produced Us.
Unfortunately, the movie is by no means as perfect as the critics say, nor is it as good as Get Out due to the confusing and aggravating plot holes. Many plot threads are started at the very start and can be found later on in the movie, yet some of them make no sense without having to consult interpretations found online, making the movie annoying at times to watch. Other times, characters simply do things and act in ways that make absolutely no sense for the situation they are in, a personal pet peeve of mine.
Despite its flaws and its tendency to be overhyped by the critics, Us is another example of Jordan Peele’s tremendous talent at all aspects of filmmaking. The story is original, the acting is excellent, and the twists are thought provoking. At a time in the year where original movies are hard to find, Us is well worth the watch.