Get Out (2017): Not the Typical Family Meet and Greet
At the Sundance Film Festival in January, many critics left screenings raving about one film: Get Out. That initial praise has seemed to continue as Get Out currently stands at a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes as I’m writing this review.
But is the film worth this absurd hype? I made sure to head out to the theater to find out for myself. The following review will be spoiler free.
Get Out is directed by Jordan Peele and stars Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, and Catherine Keener. Chris (Kaluuya) is a black man who set to meet his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time. While apprehensive, Chris loves his girlfriend so he goes along for the ride. However, once they get to her house, Chris begins to notice that his girlfriend’s family is a little strange. Not only do they (and their friends) act differently around him because he’s black, issues begin to escalate to something much more sinister.
If you’ve been following MovieBabble, you would know that I’ve had an eye on this movie for awhile now, even mentioning it on my Under the Radar Movies to Watch Out for in 2017 article. Everything about this movie intrigued me from its possible discussion of race relations along with Jordan Peele at the helm. I love it when creative people try something new and step out of their comfort zone. Sometimes those people create genre films that are incredibly fresh and innovative.
Get Out is also a completely original film, written by Jordan Peele with zero attachments to any source material. I always root for films such as Get Out in a time full of big budget movies that have to be based off of some type of popular source material. It makes sense from a studio perspective in order to reduce the risk, but it can definitely stifle creativity. My hope when I see an original film is that it’s good enough to keep inching such movies towards bigger budgets so that we can be surprised by a phenomenon like what Star Wars did in the 1970’s one today in the near future.
But for this hope to spring forward, movies like Get Out need to succeed, which begs the question, is Get Out worthy of all its praise?
What I Liked
While I don’t think Get Out deserves its lofty 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, there’s definitely some fun to be had.
Daniel Kaluuya was fantastic in the lead role of Chris Washington. As relatively unknown actor, I didn’t know what to expect out of him. But it turns out that he may be the best part of the movie. He’s very likable as the lead, sucking the audience into his trials and tribulations and causing you as the viewer to root for him the entirety of the movie’s run time. I couldn’t tell if it was an editing trick or not (if it is then I commend Jordan Peele and his team for their seamless work), but Kaluuya had to make tears pour down his face in a few scenes, a task that can be pretty difficult to do on demand. His American accent with also spot on to the point where I was shocked to find out he’s actually British.
Jordan Peele also directs this movie with a distinct style which is most definitely appreciated. Each scene flows nicely into the other while setting the correct tone for each scene. Get Out walks the line between scary and funny in many scenes and it plays very well. These tonal shifts could have been a disaster if put in the wrong hands. But Jordan Peele knows exactly when to drop in jokes or play up the dread, leading to an engrossing movie that flies by as it works on multiple levels. You can tell that Peele already has a knack for creating atmosphere. I look forward to seeing what Peele tackles next as a director.
What I Didn’t Like
Get Out is tough movie to give a “rotten” review to in that it is a script without plot holes that has characters that you care about (which is probably why the film has a 100%), but whether you like or love depends on the ultimate plan of the evildoers in the film, and I didn’t really buy what Get Out was trying to sell me. The explanation of the”master plan” is given in an information dump which made it feel off-putting just on the surface level, but the actual information given seemed a little ridiculous in my personal opinion.
What I Liked…Continued
The film is just so likable that you can forgive it for the occasional silliness and cliches that it possesses. But what the film contains that has a ton of critics buzzing is its discussion of race relations. Like the tone of the movie as a whole, race relations are also played for both laughs and scares throughout the film. Some of the moments are laugh out loud funny, especially when Chris talks to old, waspy white people who haven’t a clue in their mind how to talk to black people, so they immediately go to stereotypes like how much they love Tiger Woods or Barack Obama. However, it also becomes very sinister further into the film and gives it an extra bite. Some may feel this angle of the film to be preachy and even a little demeaning, but it personally worked well.
Get Out is not the perfect film that Rotten Tomatoes would make it appear to be (Jordan Peele even joked that people aren’t giving it bad reviews in fear of being racist), but it’s definitely a fun time at the theater. I’ll give it a B+. This film is a solid directorial debut for Jordan Peele. Get Out will most certainly lead to more possibilities for his creativity to shine. Go out and support this movie so that more original movies are funded!
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