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WHAT'S NEW AT THE MOVIES?
I love this movie. Sure, I had a great time watching it, Jordan Peele’s mash up of comic horror and social satire, but mulling it over (and when was the last time such a broadly appealing movie made me want to do that?), I appreciate its ambition, fear and fearlessness even more.
Peele, whose seamless partnership with Keegan-Michael Kay brought us the landmark Key and Peele on Comedy Central, transitions almost effortlessly to the big screen. Is this a perfect debut? No, but its script, written by Peele, takes us on a ride that’s unexpected and entertaining. And as director, Peele brings out the best in a grand group of players, allowing them to play on smart sets, in purposely effective camera angles and lighting.
Since so much of the reward here is discovering just what’s going on, on your own, I will not give a whole lot away regarding the storyline. Suffice it to say, we begin the tale as Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose (Allison Williams) are packing for an introductory visit to her parents’ remote estate. Has she told them he’s black, he wonders. No worries, she replies, her father would have voted for Obama a third time. And we’re off. But what was with that prologue, the one where the young black man walking in the suburbs, was abducted?
Game Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, and a hilariously scene stealing LilRel Howery add to the fun. And yes, this movie is scary fun. And yes, it is not just relief jokes, but real, honest humor that gets us, too. But, at its horrifying heart, there’s no denying this movie is a social satire, skewering American middle class race relations with an undeniable vigor. And even what we think may be the point, well, it may not be.
There’s a lot we get out of this facile flick. It’s a treat to get in to all of it.