Courtesy of Universal Pictures
It's hard to describe the film Nope by Jordan Peele. Nope takes the audience in many different directions. The film makes you think. It is not one of these films where you can just sit back and relax. You need to pay attention to every single frame. Nope is a mix of sci-fi and horror which blends together coherently. It is an original film, which is always appreciated in cinema today, but does it hit the bullseye? Let's find out.
Nope stars Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Brandon Perea, and Steven Yeun. It is directed by the great Jordan Peele. This is Peele's third film after the success of both Get Out and Us. All of Peele's film have a message and with Nope, the message is harder to understand.
Nope is about the Haywood family in California. They are horse trainers used in movie productions and entertainment. The film starts with a monkey on the set of a show. There's blood everywhere and bodies on the floor. The significance of this scene is revealed later in the film and it's the most terrifying scene. This sets the tone for the film. Suddenly at the Haywood ranch, weird things start to happen. Lights start flickering, the horses become unhinged, and UFO's seem to be appearing in the sky. OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald (Keke Palmer) realize they can make money from capturing a UFO on video. They enlists the help of tech professional Angel (Brandon Perea) to help with setting up cameras at their ranch.
OJ starts doing business with a man named Ricky (Steven Yeun). Ricky runs his own park filled with attractions. Ricky buys OJ's horses for his own shows. Ricky was an actor on the show the monkey attacked the actors and live audience. It is a terrifying scene, definitely the scariest of the whole film. It is confusing to figure out how that scene matters into the overall story of the film. That is one major flaw with Nope. I love watching a movie where I have to think but with Nope it seems like the message was lost. One things I can say that was excellent in the film was the cinematography. This film has beautiful shots. The sound of the film is great too. This is a movie you have to see in theaters to get the full experience.
Nope shouldn't be described as a horror film. With exceptions to a few jump scares, Nope relies more on the sci-fi elements. This a detour for Peele as his previous films focused more on horror and social commentary. It is great that Peele is expanding his style and trying out new genres. He does a good job with the sci-fi elements. The alien is an imposing threat but is not the threat the film needed. The film is also slow in some moments but for the story that didn't bother me.
One big complaint I have with the film is Daniel Kaluuya. Kaluuya is a great actor but in this film he wasn't given anything to do. He couldn't show off his acting prowess. His character mumbles through the film which is something Daniel Kaluuya should never be asked to do. Keke Palmer is solid in this role. I can see this being a breakout role for her and I expect to see her in more high profile films.
Overall Nope is a film that is different from all the rest. It is an original film which is always welcomed today in cinema, but its execution and message are confusing. A good thing I can say is that it is a film that has never been seen before.
What did you think of Nope? Leave it in the comments below.