Nope; Jordan Peele Improves from US, However Leaves me Unimpressed. Grade: C
Nope tells a story about a man named OJ Haywood (Daniel Kaluuya) whom is a horse trainer that trains horses for entertainment such as for movies and such. OJ’s sister Emerald (Keke Palmer) who does it all, asks OJ to crash at his place for a bit. While OJ was out and about at night: He discovered something strange going on, whether it be the electricity going in and out at his house and beyond, while also a flying object of some kind flying in the sky. Emerald sees this as an opportunity to cash in BIG, as she quickly gets OJ to acquire top quality equipment, to hopefully capture this discovery on camera so they can make a lot of money. What could this unknown thing flying around the skies be?
I may not be the biggest Jordan Peele fan in terms of his work in horror, Get Out was a solid comedic horror film while his follow up US stunk. However: I was actually looking forward to Nope. In fact I was planning on flying over to where the current love of my life lives, as we could see it together… She loves horror, plus that’s what you do when you’re involved romantically with someone that lives a reasonable distance from you, you go hop on a plane just to attend a movie date. Unfortunately she’s been a bit MIA at the moment, so couldn’t be able to book the trip, just hopes she’s doing ok.
I like the goofy title of the film, while also the first poster design looked really cool and very mysterious. What is up in the sky? Could it be an end of the world kind of film? UFO perhaps? I didn’t watch a single trailer, so my curiosity was still way high up in the air feeling questioned with the whole film. Thankfully I didn’t watch any trailers, especially that horrendous second trailer that gave away TOO much of the film. While Nope at least was a better film compared to the likes of US, however it left me unimpressed yet again.
I can at least appreciate Nope for being interesting, while also being unique in some regard. You’re constantly wondering what is in the sky, how it can control electricity when it approaches to a scenery, and what is it’s moral purpose!? It at least keeps your mind at float with wonder and curiosity, as we witness a couple of beings like Emerald and OJ trying to cash in on this discovery, while learning about this discovery and how it operates as time goes on.
The whole theme regarding how we respond tragedy in the modern day of age was executed fairly. Whether it be the tragic moment of the television show or the current tragedy of this entity in the sky, we either react to it genuinely by caring about it or find an opportunity to make a profit off of it. The whole profiting off a tragedy has become more common than ever in today’s world, as really any time there is a heartbreaking tragedy of any kind… Human Beings now tend to wanting to capitalize on the tragedy whether it be to profit off it, achieve a certain political agenda off it, or even achieve social media presence by gaining retweets or likes. It’s become clear that we have driven further away from humanity than ever before, as we are more in tune with greed and selfishness.
There is one horror element that I did thoroughly enjoy as that was involving Gordy the Monkey. I felt that was actually effective in terms of disturbing content, as that maybe the main highlight of this film in terms of horror as it was quite terrifying to experience. Who knows if they’ll be a spin off of Gordy for a future horror film… But that ape deserves it’s own film without a doubt, considering the monkey stole the show of this entire film for me. How I can forget: I actually really enjoyed the Cinematography in this film A LOT! I have to agree with Chris Stuckmann’s take on the visuals taken in the night: They look outstanding as you can see clearly all that is happening thoroughly well, excellent job.
Nope to me in terms of pacing, I was kind of bummed just how slow paced this film is. I think when it comes to a Sci Fi/Horror kind of film: It needs to be a little more energetic, as to me that’s what this film really lacked of and that was energy. At least the film is interesting for the most part, but there are sequences in terms of execution, where your whole body is not quite in tune at all as the film does not make you excited about what is going on at all. I can tell the pacing was quite slow because when I came home… I felt extremely tired, wanting to go to bed early and not write my reviews immediately.
While I do see a correlation with Gordy and the unknown discovery in terms of the theme… I would’ve like the film to explore, what exactly does Gordy’s behavior have to do with the unknown discovery?! I thought the entity was making the animals react in a violent way out of nowhere, which is why Gordy out of nowhere reacted violently. But unfortunately that whole sequence was never aligned to the unknown discovery at all, so what exactly happened with Gordy?! A trained animal doesn’t go berserk out of the blue, there’s always a cause and effect, so what exactly happened?!
The third act is where the film lost it’s recommendation for me, as I felt that whole conclusion was getting extremely ridiculous. Like it started to not feel like a movie at all, as it felt like one complete joke as the way it’s shot as what we’re experiencing looked entirely fake. Speaking of experiencing something that looked fake: What the hell happened to the unknown discovery?! The way it transforms into different shapes and stuff…. Are we serious?! It looks HORRIBLE, it’s like witnessing a kite mixed with those Baton ribbons used at color guard. How am I suppose to believe that this thing is causing harm to humans, where it’s raining out blood?!
For whatever reason Jordan Peele had to sprinkle in some comedy in this film, as yet again for the second film in a row the humor is not good. It all starts with having an overly obnoxious comedic relief, as yet again we have one with Emerald Haywood played by Keke Palmer. Let’s be perfectly clear: It’s not Keke Palmers fault for her bland annoying humor, it’s Jordan Peele’s fault. Why does this character need to act like an annoying cartoon character for?! Almost every line of dialogue feels extremely cringe, even in the most crucial moments the execution is just flat out corny. Jordan: PLEASE STOP WITH THE COMEDIC RELIEFS! You’re never going to top Lil Rel in Get Out, you’re never going to top LaKeith Stanfield doing that hilarious twirl at the party in Get Out, give it up for the love of God.
Nope feels heavily influenced from the likes of under the radar Sci-Fi film makers Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. Benson and Moorhead make unique Sci-Fi films from The Endless, to Synchronic, and most recently watched at Sundance 2022 Something in the Dirt. I feel those films are better in comparison not only in entertainment purposes, but even storytelling, characters, direction, and ESPECIALLY Special Effects as well. They really have such crafty minds, to where the mind feels fully elevated from start to finish while watching their films, so much attention in detail towards the concept but also has that sense of charm these films are missing in Nope. To me: This felt like an over budgeted Moorhead and Benson film, only it doesn’t capture the minds of those films at all… But I don’t think those film makers could ever come up with a floating Kite as an entity, I’m sorry that was embarrassing to experience.
Overall, Nope was just ok. I recommend waiting to see this film at home, I don’t think this is worth a theater trip at all. Well let’s look at the bright sides: Ended up spending $2.17 (Popcorn) experiencing Nope, than spending a couple hundred to see it over in California with the current love of my life… Sure I would’ve rather have a summer romantic moment, but at least money was SAVED. -Mitch Smietana