It was time Jordan Peele had made his first alien movie, and I was ready. After the greatness that was Get Out (2017) and Us (2019), I was ready for more greatness. Next level greatness. I wanted this review to be terrible just to start by saying, “Nope.” That is not the case, which is equally a win and a disappointment. However, it didn’t really hit the greatness mark either. Let’s break it down.
We follow OJ Haywood (Daniel Kaluuya) and his sister Emerald (Keke Palmer) as they stumble along trying to continue their family business as Hollywood horse trainers after the unexpected passing of their father, Otis Sr. (Keith David).
Their ranch, one assumes on the outer-outskirts of Hollywood, is disturbed by something strange and mysterious. This something seems to be hiding in a cloud, and its behaviour is getting increasingly aggressive. Emerald has the brilliant idea to capitalise on a situation that many sane humans would run from – “let’s try and film it!”
Nope (the word, not the title) is the running joke in the movie when someone comes across something “nope-worthy”. Not to give anything away – just think of creatures, machines and stuff that shouldn’t be there. This elicited laughter and applause from this reviewer’s screening. Nope, welcome to the minutiae of the culture of 2022. The story itself was reasonably solid. A few plot holes here and there, a couple of pacing issues where it felt like we had slowed down to a crawl.
For my horror and mystery fans, while the story was good and the premise had me intrigued, there was only a couple of cheat jump scares, and while there was some mystery around what’s going on “up there”, it won’t take long for the switched on viewers to cotton on to what’s happening. And for my pop-culture fans, keep an eye out for plenty of easter eggs!
Jordan Peele has an amazing talent for bringing together outstanding ensemble casts, and Nope is no exception. Each character brings their own unique element to the story and makes a splash in their own way. My favourite has to be Emerald (Keke Palmer) steals the show with her energy, wit and tenacity.
This film looked and sounded amazing. Fun fact, this feature was made for IMAX. Peele knew the sharp resolution would create the kind of immersion he was going for. It paid off! Ranches, sprawling scenery, aliens, Hollywood – you can picture it already, can’t you? And an even MORE fun fact Imax cameras weren’t just used for shooting — Peele also put an Imax camera onscreen. Keep an eye out for it.
Overall, this is a solid film as the third film by director Jordan Peele. Once again, the film looks stunning and sounds amazing! A couple of moments could have been made tighter, maybe a little more action for the horror fans. That said – if you love Jordan Peele’s previous work, aliens or the horror genre, I strongly suggest you book a ticket today! And don’t be telling me, “Nope.”