SPOILER ALERT My Review of "Us" SPOILER ALERT
Second Funkiest White Man in America
DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW ALL THE STUFF ABOUT "US".
I figured that with a movie like this, I really couldn't put enough "Spoiler Alerts" in the regular thread, and would ultimately and inadvertantly ruin it for someone. So, even though this movie isn't the greatest thing since the Shuffle option on my iPod, I still felt a separate thread was the right thing to do.
I rated this movie as 3 Bee-Yacht'es out of 5 Bee-Yacht'es mainly because the acting is great. The story?
Meh. And really only "meh" because of the ending.
Were Lupita N'yongo and her son real or shadow people? I thought it was the daughter who was a shadow person? And if you were a real person but got captured by the shadow people and replaced by your shadow, whenever you finally confronted your real family wouldn't you start screaming "Hey! Mom! Dad! I'm the real daughter! That's a shadow person!" Or at the very least, wouldn't you turn on your shadow captors when you had the chance?
Well, I read somewhere that this is the kind of movie you need to watch a few times before you understand everything.
I certainly don't so of course, I cheated. Thank you, internet (especially wikipedia)!
Before I dove into my own research, my take on this movie is that it reminded me of a time travel movie, because as we all know time travel is impossible. So are shadow people, and so are shadow people movies where some people get substituted for their shadow people. In a gigantic udnerground warehouse that existed undiscovered for decades.
I knew that we were supposed to look for clues and certainly having a VHS tape of "C.H.U.D." on the shelf was one. I've never seen "C.H.U.D." (but as my Faithful Readers know, I did see the beginning and the ending - BUT NOT THE MIDDLE - of Paul Newman's "Hud"); however, I am aware that it's about monsters eating people, or something like that. I don't remember exactly what "C.H.U.D." stands for but I think it's something like "Canniballistic Human Underground Dwellers". Let me look that up...
...yep. I was close. "Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller". It also stands for "Contamination Hazard Urban Disposal". Anyway it's about monsters that eat people.
So I figured that's what we were going to see here. But we really didn't. Bummer.
Let's start at the start. Why did the little girl not only leave, but go all the way to the beach? In what looked like a zombie state of mind? And how in the Sam Hill did her father not immediately know she was gone? Whack-a-Moling doesn't take that long and every father knows that when you're showing off for your child like that, you're constantly looking at them to make sure they are properly impressed. At least, that's how I handled parenting.
At the end the Reds make a big deal about being "tethered". So how did the little Red get into the House of Mirrors? And if Lil' Red could do it, why didn't lots of other Reds? Where did they get their Red jumpsuits anyway? I guess from the government, as the government created them in a failed cloning experiment.
Hey, that reminds me! I saw this great license plate yesterday. It is PERFECT for all the conspiracy loons out there. I took a picture of it but since I'm too lazy to figure out how to upload stuff in any way other than Photobucket - which I don't think even works any more - here is what the license plate said:
I assume there's an implied question mark at the end. I'll bet it freaks out conspiracy weirdos everywhere it goes!
So here is the giant "Us" spoiler:
Lupita N'yongo is actually a Red. She got captured as a kid and replaced by her Red. Which means that as a Red, she gave birth to both the kids, which makes them half-Reds. Somewhere Elizabeth Warren is taking notes.
So again - why did the real Lupita N'Yongo align herself with her Red captors? Was it the Helsinki Syndrome?
And why was Red Lupita killing her fellow Reds? And why were other Reds trying to kill her? Didn't they know she was actually a Red?
And according to wikipedia, only N'Yongo is a real Red. Her son isn't. So what made him look at her suspiciously at the end?
In the real world - or at least in Texas - the Reds would have been slaughtered due to the Second Amendment. Texas is filled with people who's attitude is straight from the movie "Stripes":
Of course, I'd be more like this:
And no matter what, the U. S. military would have just licked their lips at the Reds Across America line, and would have mowed them down in F-16s equipped with their M61A1 six-barrel Gatling gun and a linkless ammunition feed system. The M61A1 provides up to 10 times the reliability of single-barrel guns, firing at 6,000 shots per minute and placing a controlled dispersion of projectiles in the path of the target.
This reminds me of a discussion in an AOL chat room back in 1994 or so. Some moronic Second Amendment guy was screaming about Bill Clinton and the assault rifle ban, and how he needed 182 assault rifles in case the gubmint ever became tyrannical.
There was another participant who'd flown F-14s in the Navy (yes, I used to believe everything people said in the Interwebs). The Navy hero shut the Second Amendment goofball up for good when he said, "Your popguns would be no match for my F-14 Tomcat". As visual proof of that, I offer this awesome picture:
Does anyone think the Reds could have withstood that? Or what about an A-10 Warthog? Throw a couple hundred of those badboys at the Reds Across America line and problem solved pronto.
Still, I did like "Us". And I'm really glad I didn't screw up and watch "This is Us" by mistake. Ugh, that show sounds like the most depressing thing ever broadcast. No thank you!
I haven't touched on the Biblical reference, or anything else that isn't self-explanatory. I read a bunch of pointy-heads who say this movie is a commentary on the nuclear family, or the conflicted territory of class and race and privilege, or a bunch of other boring stuff I couldn't be arsed to copy and paste.
Maybe Jordan Peele really was thinking about that kind of stuff but I don't think so. I think his one and only social commentary is "I'm going to make great movies and I'm going to cast people of color in the lead roles" which is great. It should be that way. But is he going deeper than to say, "See, all you racist idiots? People of color can carry a movie just as well as anyone else"?
I don't think so and why should he? He proves his point and he wins with his movies' successes, which so far are uninterrupted.
I'd have given "Us" at least one more Bee-Yacht'es if it had turned out that no Reds had infiltrated humanity. That way, it would have the same kind of ending as "The Crazies" - the good guys defeat their own enemies but as we pan out to end the movie, we see that America has a whole country full of Reds to battle. Will we win? Will we lose? Will we be forced to watch "This is Us?
Those are the kinds of questions a 4 Bee-Yacht'es movie leaves you asking.