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On 3/17/2017 at 7:37:18 PM, Ostromite started the thread:
I know this site is dead, but I'm still surprised none of the horror fans posted about this. It's one of the most acclaimed films of the year. Armond White got in some shit a few weeks ago when he dared to express his honest opinion and wrote a negative review of the movie, ruining its perfect 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Everyone is riding this movie's dick because it's about racism and shit, but, as a friend of mine said, I don't trust a movie about racism that white people immediately like.
I won't post a long review, but I thought this movie was miserable to sit through. I'll get back to the racism stuff in a second, because that did bug me, but the problem is that the script is so bad. It's one of those movies where a helpless person gets caught in a conspiracy to destroy them and vainly tries to escape, and I don't like that kind of movie anyway, but all the story beats are predictable and clearly telegraphed, so you're always twenty or thirty minutes ahead of the film, waiting for what you know is going to happen to happen. In a movie built around fucked up twists, that's a major problem.
Compounding that is a boring cipher of a protagonist. He doesn't drive the story with his decisions at all; the movie just happens to him, and he reacts. He has no personality beyond Likeable Everyman and has no character arc. Even at the end when everything gets violent, he hasn't really changed as a character. He's just finally realized what's at stake and the shit hits the fan.
The problem is that it was written by Jordan Peele, who also directed. He's a sketch comedian, and I love Key & Peele, but the thing with sketch comedy is that you have about fifteen seconds to establish a character and two minutes to use that character to tell a few jokes. Then it's over. No time for character arcs, no time for rich characterization, just flat, punchy, easy-to-understand character traits that come across in an instant so the story can hit the ground running. He doesn't seem to have ever developed beyond this as a writer and it really bogs everything down in a feature film. It's no coincidence that the best part of the film is the one funny character (the wacky best friend, played by Lil Rel Howery, who has about four scenes) and comes across like a Key & Peele character jumping in from the theater next door.
This bad writing is what fucks up the film's supposed "message" about racism, i.e. white people who think they're not racist secretly are racist (at least, that's what everyone is praising it for). The thing is, though, the movie acts like it's a satire of white liberals who think they're hip with black people, but all the white people in the movie are limp caricatures with cheap dialogue. When an old white golfer tells the black guy "I like Tiger!", you're supposed to cringe and think he's a huge asshole and a hypocrite, but it's such inorganic, forced dialogue, the kind of clunky, pragmatic writing you need in a comedy sketch. And come on: old WASP golfers, spooky rednecks who menace people with bats, creepy Eurotrash, fat old dowagers, sweater-wearing psychiatrists with lakefront mansions - it's supposed to be a surprise when these people are racist? Lame. That's why all these white bourgeois assholes think the movie is so great: it makes them feel smart and superior because they don't identify with the racist white people in the movie, and they can look down their nose at these ridiculous strawmen and think they're being a good hip liberal who gets the black filmmaker's satire. What a joke. Fuck this shit.
Msg #1: On 4/8/2017 at 3:50:00 PM, PaulSF replied, saying:
Msg #2: On 4/22/2017 at 7:46:29 PM, RaptorHiss replied, saying:
I enjoyed Jordan Peele's interview with Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air. Probably more than I would enjoy this movie. Thanks for the review, thoughtful and relevant as always.
Msg #3: On 9/15/2019 at 3:44:32 AM, PaulSF replied, saying:
I have no idea if you're around or ever will be again, but I thought Us from this year was generally better than Get Out. Edit 2022: no it isnít
Still hated the misplaced comedy that completely took me out of the situations, but there was a lot about it I liked.