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"Nope" Movie Review

Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.

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I have a very...complicated relationship with the films of Jordan Peele. Get Out was highly overrated and not as fantastic as people were saying it was. Us, however, I absolutely loved and it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. That brings us to Jordan's newest film Nope, which had a fantastic first half and then crashed and burned in the final act.

The film follows OJ Haywood and his sister Emerald. The two together run Haywood Hollywood Horses, a slowly dying company that trains horses for movies, shows, and commercials. OJ and Emerald inherited the company from their father Otis who was killed tragically when they were young kids. As OJ and Emerald try to figure out how to make some money to survive, OJ sees something strange in the sky. He and Emerald buy camera equipment in the hopes of capturing "the perfect shot" that'll prove alien life exists all the while getting them the money they so desperately need.

I'm going to go ahead and tell you right now that there's no point in theorizing or guessing what the outcome of the film will be because you will just end up severely disappointed. I won't spoil what actually happens but, just a heads up.

The build-up throughout the film was fantastic. There were truly creepy moments that sent shivers down my spine and Peele's directing captured these moments beautifully. I do have to give Peele credit, he did think up some things that I had never seen before in an alien film and he did suggest some theories that actually make a lot of sense, however, that being said, the outcome and climax of the film completely fell flat, making the build-up seem pointless.

There's no real resolution which I suppose is what I both love and hate about the film. It leaves you wondering why this was done and why that was mentioned and why it ended where it did. That's exactly what Jordan wanted and in that he succeeded. He got inside your head and now you can't stop thinking about it because we as humans have that curiosity inside us that make us want to know why. Peele plays on that very well, but he also cheats us by not giving us the why or the how.

Keke Palmer was a fantastic performer throughout the film and her humor kept the film lively even in the creepy moments. Daniel Kaluuya, however, sounded like he wished he could be anywhere else, which was fine when that's what he was supposed to sound like but people don't sound dry and bored in fight or flight mode. Daniel's OJ character needed a lot of work. Considering the horrors he's seen throughout his life, he should have been way more frightened and erratic than he was.

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Steven Yeun was an absolute gem throughout the film and completely sold his Jupe character. I loved his backstory and how his past trauma shaped his adult life. I only wish his character had gotten the ending he deserved. But, that's the horror of trauma, which is a main element in this film. Sometimes you just don't recover.

I did love the visual effects in the film. Some were beautiful, some were terrifying, and others were terrifyingly beautiful. It was a mix of raw intellect and talent to imagine such fantastic imagery, if only there was a point to it all.

In conclusion, I left the theater very conflicted. About half the film was fantastic but it just went downhill from there. I wanted so badly to say this was Peele's best film but it's nowhere near it. So far, Us is still my favorite with Get Out shockingly taking second place and Nope taking third.

I give Nope a 2.5 out of 4.

© 2022 Nathan Jasper

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