Saturday, 29 July 2017

Get Out - Dir. Jordan Peele

Not so much a review, but some thoughts on Jordan Peele's 'Get Out'.

Major spoilers lie ahead for both 'Get Out' and Edgar Wright's 'The World's End', you have been warned.

Jordan Peele's debut is ultimately let down by a finale that's nowhere near as bold and fearless as the blistering hour or so that precedes it.
The opening scene establishes the tone of the film brilliantly but also puts the audience slightly ahead of Chris (Daniel Kaluuya). That's fine at the outset, but it's about an hour later before Chris finds out and we are explicitly told what had been building up gradually since that opening.
That build up is terrific but results in the film having to race towards its end just as it reaches the major turning point; the Armitage family no longer need to mask their true intentions for the first time in the film, but 3 of them are dispatched very quickly with no further interactions or conversations with Chris.

The finale, which can be boiled down to 6 words: Chris escapes and kills the family, is effectively handled by Peele but feels ordinary in a film that was anything but for so much of its running time.
Structurally, Get Out operates in a manner similar to Edgar Wright's The World's End. In both the character/characters experience a particular feeling connected to the situation that they have been placed into. That feeling is explored in the subtext of a story that utilises a classic genre and an outlandish twist.

The World’s End is about the dangers of trying to relive past glories when the people and places involved have changed, presented through a story where the townsfolk have literally been changed, from humans to blue-blooded (it’s more like ink) robots. In Get Out, liberal racism is presented through a story where middle-class white people are chumming up to a black man to figure out if they’d like to have their brain transplanted into his body.
And yet in The World’s End, the main turning point is somewhere closer to the middle of the film, leaving more time for the story to explore the new situation. This is particularly evident in the trailer for Get Out, which has to feature so much of the final 20 minutes of the film to suggest how the story will escalate but also leaves the film with too few surprises (of similar impact of those earlier in the film) to deliver that final knockout blow.
Perhaps it won’t matter as much on repeat viewings, but for now it’s a quibble that I can’t get out of my mind.

Get Out is out on Blu-Ray, DVD and VOD now.

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