Oscar® winner Jordan Peele disrupted and redefined modern horror with Get Out and then Us. Now, he reimagines the summer movie with a new pop nightmare: the expansive horror epic, Nope. The film reunites Peele with Oscar® winner Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, Judas and the Black Messiah), who is joined by Keke Palmer (Hustlers, Alice) and Oscar® nominee Steven Yeun (Minari, Okja) as residents in a lonely gulch of inland California who bear witness to an uncanny and chilling discovery. Nope, which co-stars Michael Wincott (Hitchcock, Westworld) and Brandon Perea (The OA, American Insurrection), is written and directed by Jordan Peele and is produced by Ian Cooper (Us, Candyman) and Jordan Peele for Monkeypaw Productions. The film will be released by Universal Pictures worldwide.
What We Thought:
I must have seen a different version of Nope than the earlier reviewers who gave it five stars and called it a masterpiece. We clearly saw a different movie because all their tweets and responses skipped over parts of the movie I saw that are completely unnecessary. Don’t get me wrong, overall I liked the film and thought it was better than Us, but a five star masterpiece? Nope.
The worst part is, the science fiction elements of the film are fantastic. It brings something new to sci-fi that I won’t spoil. It’s visually striking. It has a great score. It’s tense at the right times. Daniel Kaluuya continues to give great performances. All of that I really dug. A lot.
Unfortunately there’s a sub-story about an old chimpanzee TV show that serves no point whatsoever to film. None. It never pans out. All it does is explain who Steven Yeun’s character once was. That’s it. You could get rid of him completely and pretty much have the same exact movie. Not one glowing review/tweet even mentions the chimpanzee part and there’s a reason for it, no one understands it. I asked multiple people after the screening what the point of the chimpanzee story was, we all drew blanks. How is a movie a masterpiece when 15+ minutes of it could be cut completely because it’s 100% unnecessary to the story?
If you got rid of that storyline the film is really good and worth seeing. It’s slow at times, but that’s to build up the intensity. Once the sci-fi angle kicks in it’s a fun ride. The third act is a ton of fun and might be worth the price of admission.
Jordan Peele continues to try new things with his latest film Nope. Get Out remains his best, but Nope could have gotten there if the chimp thing wasn’t in it. I’m utterly baffled by that part almost 24 hours later. Peele paints a pretty picture behind the camera and continues making different kinds of genre films, I just wish I understood what he was going for in order to love this.
I do think that somewhere in Nope there was a decent movie hiding, but it didn’t appear for me. While I liked the look and sound of the movie, the acting…and even the initial setting and premise, the resulting story lines just didn’t deliver for me. I consider Peele a filmmaker that absolutely can be great, but while I would see Get Out and Us again (even though I didn’t like Us nearly as much as Get Out), I have no need to ever see Nope again. When I left the theatre, I immediately thought of M. Night Shyamalan. Great first film…and then the wheels came off for him a bit. As I said, I do believe Peele can be as good as the level a lot of folks have already placed him on, for me he needs to hit a home run next time around.
Great review! I don’t know if this fully justifies the inclusion of the monkey scene, but I higly recommend you give this a watch :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0bqdFmjg1M