Nope Movie Review
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Nope opened with 44 million at the box office. It reunites Daniel Kaluuya with director Jordan Peele since their huge break-out film, Get Out. Peele went on to release US before reuniting with Kaluuya again. I am no longer a huge horror film fan so I had to get my mind right to watch this. However, when I saw that UFOs were in it, I adjusted my thinking. I did not see it as a horror movie but thought of it as a science fiction suspense film.
Thank goodness I did because as a horror film, it failed in my opinion. As a science fiction film, it was okay. I thought there were a lot of missed opportunities where suspense and a little thrill could have been injected as the storyline was being built. Those missed opportunities took Nope down a few notches for me. The horror categorization needs to be removed completely.
Nope finds itself in the interesting valley where all the elements of a great movie were there but it just did not quite reach greatness. Now, I hear that I have to watch it again and get all the easter eggs that were strategically placed to fully appreciate the movie. However, I don’t feel that’s accurate. For both Us and Get Out, which I loved, I did not get all of the symbolism on the first watch. That did not stop me from enjoying the movie, and when I did go back and rewatch it after learning of all that I missed, I loved the films even more. That is what I wanted with Nope. Did I get it? Nope.
As I noted, all the elements were there. I feel it was a great set design and setting for this type of story. The acting was on point. The actors were superb and Keke Palmer did her thing. I do not think she is the best actress but her style and this character fit very well together culminating in an outstanding performance. It was giving me Akeelah and the Bee vibes in the sense that she pulled me into her quirky character’s world. I would be doing a disservice if I did not mention how awesome Brando Perea was in his portrayal of Angel Torres, the tech guy.
Daniel Kaluuya was solid as OJ. I think he is the stability the film needed. There is not much to say about him except he did everything right acting wise and as a character. He was the grounding force that his sister, Emerald, needed after their father passed and dealing with the alien. Emerald played by Keke was fun, quirky and a great contrast to her brother.
Nope takes place on a California horse ranch and follows two siblings that have to come together after tragically losing their father. Unbeknownst to them, they are sharing the land with an extraterrestrial being. So what was the downfall of Nope? You know what my number one pet peeve is for any film. The pacing. I understand that there was a plot and character build but as aforementioned, just some additional sprinkles of suspense and thrill would have had this film realize its true potential and be a hit.
Now, I do believe I will watch it again after, I learn about all the little symbolism treats that I may have missed because I was distracted by the lack of genre purity. Lastly, keep in mind that you have to watch a Jordan Peele for more than just the entertainment and my mind was not ready for all that; therefore, all in all, it was not all that I had hoped it would be.
Lessons Learn: Never ever ever give up. Our resiliency will pull us through.
I enjoyed the parallel and subplot of Ricky “Jupe” Park’s character played by Steven Yeun. He treated the alien as he would have treated the chimpanzee had they not killed it first. That experience left him open to what seemed like fear and compassion as he had as a child star. He was more than willing to sacrifice his horses and profit off the alien without truly fully understanding the alien's nature. While OJ grew to understand it fairly well. His parallel was tied into when he was trying to get the horse to do the commercial and he was warning them not to stand behind it and not to look it in the eyes.
Can we talk about the chimp and the use of the animals real quick? Can we talk about how Peele humanized them while still showing that they were animals that are ultimately unpredictable and dangerous? Can we talk about the constant juxtaposition to the alien and maybe to human beings that are put in a position of oppression and will ultimately only take so much? I am not sure y'all are really ready for that conversation. When you think about it, Nope gave me very much Us vibes.
OJ came to understand that the “spaceship” itself was actually a living thing with similar traits to the horses that he had trained and started to understand it and treat it as such. This helped him to set a trap and ultimately saved them.
I really enjoy the intensity that Michael Wincott brings to his roles. You can never predict what he’s going to do and that stood true in Nope. I am still unsure if he did not think the world deserved the best shot or if he himself wanted to get a better shot by getting up close and personal with the alien to the point of losing his life. Ultimately, he seemed absolutely bored and ready to risk it all which is what he did. Again there were more parallels between the alien and the videos he was editing before coming to join the team.
Jean Jacket, I missed the reference to the story that Emerald told her brother as to why the alien was ultimately called Jean Jacket. Nevertheless, JJ was a temperamental ass. I have so many questions about how he ended up there. I am not mad at how JJ ended up looking and why the transformation. I actually like the variety and the attempt at creating a different type of alien look. Something just missed the mark for me. Again, I have more questions than answers when it comes to JJ.
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