We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson's case, by shouting out one word - SHAZAM. - this streetwise fourteen-year-old foster kid can turn into the grown-up superhero Shazam.
Dr. Louis Creed and his wife, Rachel, relocate from Boston to rural Maine with their two young children. The couple soon discover a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home.
In order to get away from their busy lives, the Wilson family takes a vacation to Santa Cruz, California with the plan of spending time with their friends, the Tyler family. On a day at the beach, their young son Jason almost wanders off, causing his mother Adelaide to become protective of her family. That night, four mysterious people break into Adelaide's childhood home where they're staying. The family is shocked to find out that the intruders look like them, only with grotesque appearances.Written by
What a great film "Get Out" was. Jordan Peele's classic which unpeeled (sic) race relations in a wholly novel and horrifying way. Yes, the story was a bit 'out there' and unbelievable, but he pulled it off with great chutzpah.
With his follow-up film - "Us".... sorry but, for me, it just didn't work.
It all starts so promisingly. Young Adelaide Wilson (a fine debut performance by Madison Curry) is on a seaside holiday with her mother and careless father when she wanders onto the deserted Santa Cruz beach at night. There sits, like some gothic horror ghost train, the Hall of Mirrors. "Find Yourself" it taunts. She makes the mistake of entering and changes her life forever.
Spin forwards 30 years and Adelaide, now a married mother of two, is back in Santa Cruz with a terrifying feeling that things are about to go pear-shaped. And of course they do!
Why oh why oh why those voices? This film had me gripped until a particular point. Having people stand still and silent at the end of your drive is an incredibly spooky thing to show. But then, for me, the wheels came off big time. The "reveal" of who these people were I could take. But the manner of their behaviour and - particularly - how they talked was horrifying; and not in a good way. When "Red" started speaking I couldn't believe my ears: Joe Pasquale after swallowing Donald Duck.
From there, the film became farcical for me, descending in progressive stages to a tunnel-based apocalypse: a plot element that was just so paper thin it bore no scrutiny at all.
This was, no doubt, an attempt at a satirical dig at the class structure of America ("We are Americans" adding a double meaning to the name of the film). If it had been played as a deliberate comedy farce it might have worked. But otherwise no.
This is not to say that there are not positives in the film. The excellent Lupita Nyong'o gives the whacky material her all, and the other adult female lead - Elisabeth Moss (from TV's "The Handmaid's Tale") - is good value as Kitty Tyler: a diabolical incarnation in either form!
Peele also delivers flashes of directorial brilliance. The "hands across America", disappearing into the sea, is a sight that stays with you. I also liked the twist at the end, although in retrospect it's difficult to relate it to the rest of the story and strikes of desperation in the storytelling.
I know there are some who really like this movie. Each to their own, but I was not one of them. After "Get Out" I was hoping for something much better. I hope that was just Jordan Peele's "difficult second album".
(For the full graphical review, please go to "One Mann's Movies" on t'internet or Facebook. Thanks.)
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