“Nope” is the third directorial effort from Jordan Peele, well known for his roles on Mad TV and Key & Peele, respectively. He has managed to dig a notch into the horror genre with his last two offerings, “Get Out” and “Us,” offering more aggressive subtext in his projects, that are well shot, well written and most importantly well crafted for the audience.
It was obvious from the jump that the promotional materials, poster reveal and trailers were done very close to the vest in their efforts to keep us guessing what Nope was actually about. I will say that those on Reddit were, well…completely wrong, as was I.
I mean, at the core of this film, which stars the likes of Keke Palmer (Alice, Lightyear) and Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, Black Panther), as a brother and sister team of Hollywood horse wranglers, is a love-letter to filmmakers, but most notably the crew behind the scenes.
If you’re in the business, or just a hobbyist, you will find that there is a care given to recognize the work and talent of people that might never get anything other than a small credit in a rolling scroll once the audience has left the theater. Nope focuses on these people, highlights their abilities and you celebrate the victories and you mourn the failures with them. Shout out to that crew member wearing a “Northern Exposure” hat. I see you.
I’m not going to get into too much detail, because if I was, it would heavily spoil the experience, of which this is exactly that. A blockbuster spectacle. Nope kept me guessing, kept me laughing and really intrigued me in the direction it went. For the average movie fan, you will love it or hate it, depending on how it hits you, but if you’re a critic or filmmaker, you will go in trying to analyze the picture. I will say that this film managed to make me forget about any analyzation while I was watching it and literally “sucked me into” the story.
Some great practical and digital fx (with this type of film, its unavoidable) and left enough on the table with questions that will offer up arguments and conversations for years to come with exactly what the subliminal meanings and undertones meant. A supporting cast that you fall in love with (nobody is annoying or meant to be) with my highlight being Michael Wincott (Along Came a Spider, Ghost in the Shell) with his gravel-like voice playing a seasoned cinematographer with one of the best moments in the entire film, *cue slow singing.*
Overall, I would have to say this is on par with Peele’s previous projects, if not raised a bit higher in its “mass appeal”. Nope might be my favorite of the three from a pure popcorn enjoyment factor. Tonal wise, less horror and more science fiction/comedy? If I had to pick two films it reminded me of in many ways, I’d say “Signs” meets “Jaws” and I loved every damn minute of it.