For the first 30 minutes or so, Jordan Peele’s follow-up to his behemoth smash “Get Out” is an intriguing, unpredictable family drama with tinges of understated suspense simmering below the surface. The familial dynamics are well established and the chemistry among the lead quartet is effectively lived-in, and that warmth heightens the mounting tension as the audience braces for the inevitable. However, once the plot kicks in, the tone takes a turn for the mediocre and it doesn’t take long for the once-promising narrative to degenerate into a run-of-the-mill home invasion movie, whose hints of supernatural elements are never effectively deployed. By the time the movie’s secrets unfurl in the climax, it’s practically impossible not to be underwhelmed by the explanation’s laziness, and that disappointment overpowers the extremely effective acting by its four leads. Lupita Nyong’o is extraordinary and she’s well-matched by top-tier talent all around, and Peele’s keen eye for shot composition remains just as sharp, but the movie’s resolution leaves a stain across the board.
Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)