Nope ★★½

I was really disappointed in this. It’s far from bad, just absolutely shrug worthy. The writing fails the actors. I had little sense of Daniel Kaluuya’s character. He also turns in a remarkably sedate performance that I blame the writing giving him little to hold onto. Keke Palmer is given more to do on the emotional front due to her relationship with her father; she’s an utter, charismatic delight. But I overall felt the actors didn’t really get anything interesting to do save for Steven Yeun and his character’s horrifying backstory as a child star. Speaking of the father figure, why hire Keith motherfucking David and give him so little to do?

But the emotional and thematic threads that are suggested but go nowhere as they’re underdeveloped to put it mildly are only part of the film’s problems. I felt little suspense or fear. No visual aspect of the film hit me or inspired the awe I desire in the blockbuster form. The idea behind the alien “ship” is an intriguing one but I didn’t care for the design especially when it transforms late in the film. I think people will be studying this when there’s little to actually scrutinize. 

I will say I don’t expect Peele to reinvent cinematic language or create masterpieces that explode our understanding of suspense time and time again. Black filmmakers have a lot of pressure to be geniuses in everything they do. For me all I want is a well-made film that makes me feel something moving, something visceral that exalts the pleasure principle. I didn’t get this here. For all its gestures toward the idea of spectacle, Nope had little to speak of.

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✨Angelica Jade liked this review