Film Review – Nope (2022)

Title – Nope (2022) 

Director – Jordan Peele (Get Out

Cast – Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Brandon Perea, Michael Wincott, Steven Yeun

Plot – On their quiet horse ranch in the Californian plains, brother and sister OJ (Kaluuya) and Emerald Haywood (Palmer) begin too suspect their serene surrounds are playing host to a chilling mystery. 

“What’s a bad miracle?”

Review by Eddie on 12/08/2022

If it wasn’t already abundantly clear after his first two feature films Get Out and Us, Jordan’s Peele’s third feature as a writer and director Nope proves once and for all that the comedian turned filmmaker is not at all intent on chasing the low hanging fruit when it comes to delivering fresh and unique films. 

A film that for a long time was shrouded in the type of secrecy normally reserved for a Christopher Nolan film, Nope slowly revealed itself to be some type of sci-fi/horror hybrid that may or may not be an alien invasion movie but without spoiling any of the surprises that lay in store for those heading into the film for the first time, Peele’s version of what is perhaps to be expected from a certain type of film is unlikely to be what audiences are expecting, with Nope becoming anything but a typical big budget blockbuster event. 

Teaming up with renowned cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema, Peele and his right hand man take us into the Californian area of the Agua Dulce where sibling horse farm owners OJ and Emerald Haywood begin to suspect that something is amiss on their usually quiet property, with the prospect of an unknown entity making itself at home in their surrounds causing the mismatched duo to enact a plan to uncover the mystery of what may or may not be present in their lands. 

Taking a typically slow-paced approach to proceedings much like he did with Get Out and Us, the plotting and style in which Nope’s story unfolds will not be for everyone and despite an unnerving and eye-opening pre-credits sequence of events taking place, Nope is in no rush to get the ball rolling when it comes to big money shot segments or major plot developments but there’s a chilling and mysterious tone at the core of every one of Nope’s runtime minutes that makes it a gripping watch for the most part but one that never manages to fully capitalize on its many great ideas and moments, that culminate in a unique but not exactly satisfying final stretch. 

Neither a genuine science fiction experience nor a straight up horror exercise, Nope holds within it some of the most interesting ideas and scenes (extended scenes held around a western theme park audience/a chimpanzee named Gordy and a bloody incident at the Haywood’s farm clear standouts) you’re going to see in a film this year but at times it’s hard to fully comprehend what Peele is trying to achieve with Nope’s overall messaging and the purpose behind it all outside of an examination of mankind’s inability to understand its powers in controlling things we have no right to control, with the visually appeasing but messy final act leaving Nope feeling like a film with great parts but not such a great all-round package. 

Three films in it still feels as though Peele’s greatest feat yet as a director is till too come with all of his final products harboring incredibly realized moments and more unique ideas than countless other films could dare to conjure up but while Nope is a cinematic spectacle and another tick for the industries new wonderkid, there’s still a few too many missteps to classify it as a masterpiece despite at times reaching that level of justified praise. 

Final Say – 

An entirely unique cinematic and narrative experience, Nope is another worthy effort from Jordan Peele but one that doesn’t always come off the way in which we would’ve hoped, holding it back from the greatness that lays within arms reach throughout. 

3 1/2 roof pigs out of 5  

17 responses to “Film Review – Nope (2022)

  1. Aaah man, I loved this. So smart as well!

    Great allegory for Hollywood’s treatment of black actors, looking people in the eye, the horses a layer for animal cruelty and the treatment of others within the industry. And in ‘real’ life as well, the whole Chimp sitcom thing in reflection to the horses shows everything you need to know in that respect. The name OJ being a deft touch to what’s in a name? And that reaction to.

    On the big screen, that was an experience I loved!

    • Absolutely a big screen experience this one!

      Some of the scenes in the movie were easily some of the best I have seen in the last couple of years.
      E

      • I agree with Dan and yourself. Another great big screen gem. It blew my mind particularly with its themes. Easily one of my favourite films this year.

      • Aboslutely one that needs to be seen on the big screen. Sad it has done rather poor here in Aussie cinemas, would’ve liked to see it get more support especially in such a quiet period for cinema releases.
        E

  2. It looks like a gigantic crossover of western, SF and black concern movie but it’s quite a good surprise to me. Probably the most beautiful E.T. visiting us for long.

    • It takes a film like Nope to reassure that there can still be enough ways to refresh a sci-fi story of this nature for the 2020s. Jordan Peele certainly understands his own pace as a filmmaker, and TV producer with The Twilight Zone, and it will be most curious to see where he could go from here.

      • Peele is gifted, that’s undoubtable, and I hope he can go further in the portrait he makes of his country. He can mix terror and humour in a brillant way. “Twilight Zone” is not very far here, and the Lovecraft mythology too when you look at the creature fabulous design. And it’s beautiful proof that films are made for theaters, just like the “Maverick” Cruise feature.
        I read it did good start in theater in the US. Glad to read that.

      • Great to see more support for original films at the cinema. While way down on his previous efforts box office wise I think Nope showcases audiences are keen to support original material.
        E

  3. “Neither a genuine science fiction experience nor a straight up horror exercise, Nope holds within it some of the most interesting ideas and scenes… you’re going to see in a film this year but at times it’s hard to fully comprehend what Peele is trying to achieve with [its] overall messaging and the purpose behind it all outside of an examination of mankind’s inability to understand its powers in controlling things we have no right to control, with the visually appeasing but messy final act leaving [it] feeling like a film with great parts but not such a great all-round package.” — Did the film strike you as too much of both sci-fi and horror in atmosphere and narrative conventions but without effective blending of the two? Or was it not quite enough of either genre to meet in the middle? What are some films that successfully reference both of those genres? Alien? John Carpenter’s The Thing?

    • I think you have named the best of the best examples there Pugs! I feel Nope is the type of film that for 3 quarters is hurtling towards greatness but its endgame and final act left me personally feeling rather cold and like Peele wasn’t able to take his fantastic idea and moments to an ending that felt like achieved something of note. It’s going to be a divisive film in the future I feel, I may reevaluate quite a bit when I catch it for a re-watch.
      E

      • I haven’t seen it yet, will probably get it on DVD later on b/c the trailers have piqued my curiosity but not enough to go to a movie theatre. Whenever you do a re-watch, if you come to different or additional insights, let us know.

      • Will do Pugs! Keen too hear what you think, I don’t believe it will be too far away from an express release on rental platforms.
        E

  4. I have just followed you so that I may learn from your posts. I have also started to write on movie as blog.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s