There’s an electric rhythm at the sensory heart of Shaka King’s Judas and the Black Messiah. A tangible frisson of galvanic energy. It is, by the film’s own omission, ‘the beat that manifests in you’. Here is a civil rights powerhouse that needs not just to be seen but to be heard. To be lived and to be left livid. Through the bedazzlement of King’s masterful choreography and the triumphs of his exquisite cast, a reminder harkens. This isn’t over. Don’t you forget it.
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Were it not for the opening scene, in which a young, black man, alone at night in a dark suburbia, is assaulted by an armour-clad figure and dragged into a white car to the vintage strains of Flanagan and Allen’s ‘Run Rabbit Run’, Get Out might easily have been a comedy. On paper, the film marks the directorial debut of Jordan Peele – the man who wrote and headlined last year’s action-comedy Keanu – its stars include the comedic talents of Allison Williams (Girls) and Stephen Root (Dodgeball, Finding Dory), and it has a plot reminiscent of Greg Glienna’s Meet the Parents. Ba dum and, of course, tish. Do not, however, be fooled. Whilst Get Out is undoubtedly a feature with some genuine belly laughs, they’re laughs that come with a distinctly nasty sting.
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