Nope (2022)

Nope (2022)

Movie Details

Nope (2022)
Director: Jordan Peele
Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, and Brandon Perea
Genre: Horror/Sci-fi 
Release date: 22 July 2022
IMDB Rating: 6.8/10
Languages: English and Spanish
Duration: 2h 10m


Nope (2022)


A few years ago, Jordan Peele was a huge comedy star. Now he’s a big filmmaker. And I still don’t know how to approach it. Quite simply – I didn’t find any of his horror films scary and suspenseful. Which is a bit of a problem in this genre. However, his Nope was supposed to be something a little different and Peele promised a deviation from science fiction, the trailers didn’t look completely in vain and the words that he was inspired by Jurassic Park or Close Encounters of the Third Kind also sounded good.

Although there are a few horror (and well-shot) scenes in Nope, this time there aren’t that many scares, and other things are being dealt with. Siblings OJ and Emerald live on a ranch in the middle of California, raising horses and living day to day. The business is not going well and they see the future differently. But now they have a common problem. They discover that there may be something lurking in the clouds above them that may not be from our world. And they decide to find out what it is. Partly for fame, partly for curiosity, and partly for personal reasons. But they have no idea what they are up against and the more they try to find the truth, the more they realize that they may have taken too big a bite. But they don’t want to back down.

Nope can make a great first impression. Christopher Nolan’s leading cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema understands his craft like few others, and the American wasteland looks both beautiful and terrifyingly endless in his rendering. All it takes is a few shots of the desert, distant mountains, and a small town somewhere in the distance, and one is suddenly suitably nervous. This is fitting because Peele doesn’t offer much tension for at least the first half of the film. It is shown that Peele as an implementer simply does not kick the first league.

Fortunately, the screenplay has more to offer, so the not-so-well-built tension is overcome by the very interestingly built relationship between the siblings and interesting supporting characters, whether it’s the former child star and current businessman Jupe or the elderly cameraman Holst, whom the heroes hire to help them film what hides in the clouds. And he’s not afraid to go far for it. In addition, Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer carry the film even in its weaker moments. The combination of a variation on Clint Eastwood (unexpectedly successful) and the clichédly annoying sister, whom the brother still likes despite her stubbornness, works excellently, and Kaluuya and Palmer easily pull Nope off.

However, for a long time, it seems that we are moving somewhere in the average. Nene drags at first, she looks pretty, but she can’t pull it off, and the creepy or mysterious moments don’t work quite often. Fortunately, Peele’s new film progresses nicely and in the last third manages to offer enough reasons for you to leave the cinema relatively satisfied. When the cards are laid out on the table and everyone knows what is at stake and who or what is up against them, Nene turns into an imaginative fighter full of clever ideas, interesting rules, and spectacular and visually breathtaking scenes. I’m not afraid to say that this more epic direction suits Peele a lot more than his attempts at psychological horror.

The question arises whether this is enough to make one forgive him for the unimaginative first half. In it, he has to rely mainly on characters and more traditional tension building, because unlike his previous films, Peele does not try to make a social commentary and does not offer nearly as many questions to think about. Of course, Nope could be interpreted as a story about people who, when they see a burning barracks, don’t go to put out the fire, but watch the show, and some of them even start to close up so they can take more effective photos of the entire disaster. At its core, however, it is much more of a classic UFO sci-fi than a film that encourages heated debate and inspires, offends, or provokes.

Whether that’s a good thing, or if Peele should have stuck with what worked for his fans in Get Out and to some extent in We, is a question everyone has to answer for themselves. I appreciate that they are trying something new, even if I can’t speak of enthusiasm this time either.

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