After his surprise hit “Get Out”, Jordan Peele now returns with his second directorial work. In “We” it gets a family dealing with bloodthirsty doppelgangers. Whether for Peele beckons another Oscar or whether he becomes the Mayfly, we reveal in our (spoiler-free) film review.
- Knock, knock, who is there? The story
- Jordan Peele is not a one-movie wonder
- Outstanding cast for Lupita Nyong’o
- A visual and acoustic pleasure
Knock, knock, who is there? The story
Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) and Gabe Wilson (Winston Duke) are on their way to Santa Cruz, California with their two children Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and Jason (Evan Alex). Adelaide does not really have any good memories of this place: In her childhood, she experienced something terrible there that she still pursues in her thoughts. But for her family, she tries to suppress the negative memories in order to spend a nice summer vacation with them.
One evening, however, there is a strange family on the property of the Wilsons. All attempts by Gabe to exterminate the invaders fail. And suddenly the strangers are in the Wilson’s house … and turn out to be their bloodthirsty counterparts.
Jordan Peele is not a one-movie wonder
The next movie by Oscar winner Jordan Peele was eagerly awaited after “Get Out”. Whether he can probably build on his successful debut? Even the first trailer left no room for doubt: “We” is another horror film, with the Peele proves that he is no fluke. On Rotten Tomatoes, the director can also look forward to a rating of a whopping 100 percent!
As in his feature film debut, the exceptional talent succeeds this time again in the balancing act between horror and comedy. The focus is on “We” but clearly more on the horror elements. For the humorous moments provides primarily Wilson Gabe, who even in the worst situations still a brisk slogan or sarcastic comment for the best – without that the film drifts into the ridiculous.
Come, let’s play a game.
And the horror is well used dosed. Yes, there is a (predictable) jumpscare here and there, but the real horror lies hidden away from it and creeps slowly but surely into our heads – even if we can not name it properly at first.
Peele also plays with our expectation: If we believe that we get to see a bloody scene immediately, is swung away. If we feel safe, he shocks us with an attitude we might not have expected. Everything well dosed, nothing is too much, nothing too little.
Outstanding cast for Lupita Nyong’o
Jordan Peele has found four actors for “We” who manage not only to breathe life into their main characters, but also their doppelgangers. And these are the complete opposite!
Lupita Nyong’o once again proves why she can already own an Oscar. On the one hand, she plays the loving and protective mother who is still struggling with her childhood demons. At the same time, she embodies Adelaide’s doppelganger with such intensity that it is hard to believe that she is one and the same actress. With a croaking voice – she is the only one of the doppelganger family that talks – and manic look she not only Adelaide, but also the audience under the skin.
Adelaide tries to protect her children from the intruders.
Armed with golf and baseball bats, it feels much better.
Adelaide can not believe her eyes.
Each of the four family members gets its moment to shine – even the kids. Especially young actors often have a hard time convincing me in my eyes. But Evan Alex and Shahadi Wright Joseph impress all along the line. They manage to give their doubles their own stamp and show in the common scenes, how different their game is. For example, the doppelganger of Jason crawls across the floor like a monkey on all fours, the image of Zora always follows the young girl with a completely crazy grin on her face.
Winston Duke, who co-starred with Lupita Nyong’o last year as M’Baku in “Black Panther” on the screen, adds some lightness to the film. His jokes never seem flat, but like those that could bring many fathers.
A visual and acoustic pleasure
Not only did Jordan Peele go to great lengths to select the actors, he also hit the bull’s eye with cinematographer Mike Gioulakis (“Glass”). He captures the events with impressive images and thus tells almost more than the characters in the film itself. Above all, he plays a lot with reflections – in windows, glass doors or tables.
Nobody expected this twist …
Jordan Peele also has some highlights in store for the ears. As you can already see and hear in the trailer, Luniz plays a big role in the whole movie “I Got 5 On It”. The track is not only in the scene on the way to Santa Cruz, composer Michael Abels (“Get Out”) takes over the theme and makes it sound several times in the film as an instrumental version. It’s like a thread.
Speaking of red: This color is especially common in “we” and is heavily staged. Of course, the most striking thing is the suits of the doppelgangers. But also in other places, the color is emphasized and highlighted. The candied apple at the fair, the little Adelaide t-shirt, the strawberries – and of course the blood.
Conclusion: “We” as an equal successor
After “Get Out” Jordan Peele gives in with “We”. His ingenious script combined with Lupita Nyong’o’s stellar acting performance, Winston Duke, Evan Alex and Shahadi Wright Joseph make the film a worthy successor, though it’s hard to say if it’s better or worse than Get Out”. He is just different.
“We” turns over to the end especially with the Twists. Just when you think you finally understood what it’s all about, another twist comes and you start from scratch again. But that’s a good thing, because “we” will provide a conversation piece. So, after the movie, it’s time to shake your head, about what Jordan Peele told us this time.