“The residents of a lonely gulch in inland California bear witness to an uncanny and chilling discovery.” – IMDB
Well, I’ve gone and done it again. I’ve allowed my expectations to soar to unreachable heights, like a balloon lost in the outer reaches of the atmosphere (👀), only to have them slowly deflated and brought back down to earth over the course of two hours. Let me clarify…
Nope follows OJ and Emerald “Em” Haywood, two siblings from a legendary Hollywood horse-handling family, as they struggle to save their family’s ranch. After an encounter with a UFO, OJ and Em believe they have found the answer to their money issues and try to capture the craft on camera, collecting a ragtag team to help them in their mission.
Great plot, right? I thought so too and, for the first half of the movie, I was completely invested. OJ (Daniel Kaluuya), Em (Keke Palmer), and Angel Torres (a Fry’s Electronics employee who eventually joins their team, played by Brandon Perea) have incredible chemistry and comedic timing. The suspense is dialed up at a steady pace and I will admit that I did jump at one or two moments.
However, as with most alien movies, Nope loses steam as soon as we have a better understanding of what our protagonists are up against. Supporters of the movie will probably say that this is where the film’s social commentary comes into play, and that’s true. But while I can appreciate Peele’s artistic intentions, it felt like the plot suffered as a result. I was left with lots of questions, but not necessarily the questions the filmmakers intended. One of them being, what was the point of having someone like Barbie Ferreira in the movie just to snack on a bag of Cheetos?
Ultimately, Jordan Peele’s Nope is not a bad movie, not by any stretch. It was an enjoyable ride, but there was a real lack of satisfaction as I left the theater. Maybe the story would have been better served on a platform like Peele’s updated Twilight Zone, where it would be told more succinctly. Because as the movie went on, I felt that it truly (I’m going to need you to read this next part in a British accent…) lost the plot.
Let me end by saying that I saw this movie with a group of eight. One person absolutely loved it, another said it was one of the worst movies they’ve ever seen. I leave it in your hands now!
Rating: 6 out 10 Claire Bears
If you like this movie, you should also watch: Get Out, Us
Streaming: In Theaters
With: Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Brandon Perea
Directed By: Jordan Peele