Nope ★★★½

So many great ideas. So many big, beautiful images. So much authentic filmmaking. Such a forgettable, surprisingly small, inconsequential, and ridiculously broad movie. Over constructed and under realized.

Peele swings at interesting themes without making much intellectual contact. There’s a lot here about our relationship with wild things that are caged, tamed, or simply far from home, and this gets the most play. (Though the problematics of an image-based culture is touched on as well.) I think there’s an effort to turn the lens back on the human characters themselves and find their own wilderness, their own cages, their own states of being unpredictable and dangerous, but I'm not entirely sure how successful that is. I’ve seen others impose on this movie themes that are certainly paid lip service to throughout (how Hollywood treats minorities, the state of modern filmmaking, and various perceived mastications of our culture) but none of these are actually wrangled to the point where I would call them themes.

It’s wonderful that this is, essentially, a western. There are very few standard images in all of moviedom as powerful as a human being on horseback outrunning incomprehensible danger. Peele knows this, as evidenced by the role that Eadweard Muybridge's 'The Horse in Motion' plays in this film. And the whole last act is absolutely gorgeous to look at, but it's very, very hollow in the end.

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