Peele delights in doing what you don’t expect. The Haywoods’ ancestry is a vital part of the movie and directly in conflict with the all-go all-flash all-spectacle industry they struggle to navigate. Neither of them are fully right or wrong, both survivors of their dad, and the industry they were born into, in the worst of ways. A pivotal moment of sibling rivalry and parental neglect defines their relationship and their approaches to life. Em’s always trying to charm someone, always trying to sell something that she shouldn’t have to and OJ is always her stoic, pragmatic, exhausted wingman.
It’s an incredible engine to hang any film off. Palmer’s motormouth sincerity and lack of filter balanced and grounded by Kaluuya’s extraordinary stillness. When the siblings unite, as they frequently do, the middle ground they meet on is delightful. This movie has the best high five in modern cinema in it not to mention an entire relationship in a single, silent gesture.
Also, the Haywood kids fight a UFO.