Nope ★★

Whatever its thematic ambition may be, I fail to see much of any entertainment value here. Slow and static for most of its runtime, in that way which connotes “seriousness” for the A24 crowd but also suggests the indulgence of Tarantino’s Kill Bill era. Apart from the interesting, though puzzling, conceptual design for the UFO, this just feels like another Cloverfield spin-off. The cleverness of its apparent thesis statement is part of the problem because Peele is more focused on that than he is on putting images and actions together in a way that has rhythm and entertainment value. A few cool shots of Daniel Kaluuya looking up to follow some nicely integrated vfx just isn’t enough.

The movie feels tonally uncertain, like it was originally intended to be more nihilistic and they decided to lighten it a little in the edit for the summer season. The abduction of Steven Yuen and his audience is technically grim but it’s glossy and muted, without the proper visceral impact. It should be like the bus scene from this year’s Texas Chainsaw. The finale feels like Pixar. The stakes don’t feel real.

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