Candyman ★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

I have been waiting, just like so many of us, for Candyman for so long. I know Jordan Peele is the producer and not the director, but still, I felt it wasn't unreasonable to have Get Out or Us caliber expectations tonight. Bruh.

It's not terrible. The cinematography is great and the technical side of the film works. Nia DaCosta shows promise as a director. I am sure The Marvels will be fine. The puppetry animation for the flashbacks is cute, I guess. The actors are great. I love seeing Tony Todd again.

The writing is sooo disappointing. I am frankly shocked. I guess Peele's hotstreak was bound to end eventually. The film explores important issues— gentrification and racism. But the writing is awkward and clunky. No issue fully receives the love it deserves. Ironically, a valid criticism of the movie itself is made by the art critic within the movie, who calls McCoy's art didactic. The movie suffers from the same problem.

I can't agree more with Polygon writer Robert Daniels' review more. "The lack of a visual metaphor makes the film's exploration of gentrification more of an assemblage of nonspecific dialogue. It talks about what gentrification is, and not what it looks like." I couldn't say it better. The 1992 Candyman is so affective because of those menacing bird's eye shots of Cabrini-Green. The score is perfect and the grittiness is so well conveyed. 2021's Candyman shows us random parts of Chicago with more focus on the interior of buildings. The movie's language is not that symbolic. All it needs to get there is better shot selection and some more affective music. *Cough* why couldn't they just use the original Destiny's Child song?? *Cough*

I understand the idea behind Beyoncé singing a new version of Say My Name. It caught my attention in the trailer. I have a small edit idea for Candyman to make it better. Use the original! Think about Redbone in Get Out. I've Got Five On It and I Like That in Us. At this point, classic Jordan Peele movie trademarks. Those songs provide his films with what every successful horror movie needs— a little bit of levity!

Candyman has none whatsoever.

*Seen at Nugget Theaters, Hanover, NH

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