Jordan Peele made the biggest jump into the world of directing in recent years. His first feature film was a little film called Get Out, was a huge success with critics and audiences, managing to be spoken about as one of the best films of 2017 to get it a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars, with Peele picking up the award for Best Original Screenplay. It’s safe to say from that point on anything he does audiences will be eager to see what he has next. His second film, Us, didn’t quite hit the same heights even if it was another success for the director.
Nope stars Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer as siblings who think they might have discovered aliens on their ranch.
I had Nope as one of my most anticipated films of the year purely because of the hits Peele had brought to us before. When the trailer was released however, I don’t know why, but I just had a feeling that something was missing. I didn’t get the horror-ness that we had seen particularly in Us which had such an incredible and iconic trailer. Early word on the film was strong, particularly boosted by doing well at the American box office (because for some reason they got the film 3 weeks early, lets put an end to that) and for the most part I agree with the general consensus on the film.
Peele came up with this film as he was wanting to make a film that was larger in scale than his previous films so that audiences would be able to get the most out of them only by watching on the biggest screen with a group of people. Director of Photography, Hoyte Van Hoytema (previous works include Dunkirk, Tenet, Ad Astra, Her and Interstellar) helps Peele achieve this, by shooting on IMAX cameras and giving the most beautiful shots we might have seen since cinemas reopened over a year ago.
Daniel Kaluuya received an Oscar nomination for his performance in Get Out, but was beaten to the Oscar by Gary Oldman’s fantastic performance as Winston Churchill in The Darkest Hour. Since then, Kaluuya won an Oscar for his performance in Judas and the Black Messiah, something he can definitely thank Peele for his part in. He returns to work with Peele and delivers another fantastic performance. It’s at a point now where you just have to expect it from him. There’s a lot of subtlety’s to Kaluuya’s performance’s, just in sudden moments, little movements, little looks which truly makes him one of the best and surely one of the most sought after actors working.
To step up aside Kaluuya in this was Keke Palmer. Not someone I’m overly familiar with, but her star has slowly been on the rise, as we have already heard her this year, lending her voice to the main female character in Lightyear. The exact same praise I put on Kaluuya can be put on Palmer’s name too; apart from arguably she gets a bit more range to show off her talent and shows that Peele can bring out the best in people.
The supporting cast of Brandon Perea, Steven Yeun and Michael Wincott all have their own solid performances without being able to shine as much as the leads. However, the latter two, Yeun and Wincott, have their own little arcs in the film which particularly in Yeun’s case was the most interesting part of the film for me.
I don’t necessarily like all the decisions made from a creative stand point, and I found the film lacking in the horror punch I really want from Peele, where the film just feels like an episode of Doctor Who. The strongest moments are the very horror-heavy moments, something I wish the whole film would’ve stuck with.
Overall, I liked Nope, it wasn’t all I wanted but I do appreciate what the message of the film is and what it’s trying to say, along with some light laughs, strong performances and great horror moments, but is a bit too slow at times and rushing over areas, and leaving the audience wanting more.
What did you think of Nope?
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