Stanley Scorsese’s review published on Letterboxd:
In 2017, Jordan Peele made a historical effort in horror film history with Get Out walking home with the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. In 2019, he came back with the intriguing but flawed film Us. And now, in 2022, he returns with his new film Nope. Will Mr. Peele’s film have a triumphant win or will it be an illogical mess?
Nope is the 3rd film by Jordan Peele and it follows the people of a small Californian town where they witness a UFO in the sky.
I know I’m a week late to the party, but here I am as I review the new film from Mr. Jordan Peele! I was wanting to watch it while I was on my last day on the beach, but I had to bite the bullet and wait for it at home. Trust me, I was excited as much as I was when I saw the trailer for Us. I was wanting to wait with my best friends to see Nope when I got back, and I tried to hold back this amount of anticipation. So anyway, after I had the chance to see it last weekend, I had fun with it! My friends and I went to the movies to see it and I gotta say, this was a lot better than Us. But it’s nowhere near as better than Get Out! Let me also add that this is the third Jordan Peele film, I repeat, third film I’ve seen in theaters. But will it be the third I’ve seen that makes me want to see it again in theaters? Let’s find out!
Let’s take a look at the positives. The cast in the film was incredible! You got Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yuen, Michael Wincott, Brandon Perea and Keith David. Kaluuya and Palmer play OJ and Emerald Haywood, a brother and sister who inherent their late father’s ranch that’s connected to working in Hollywood. Yuen plays Ricky Park, a former child actor who grows up to create his own theme park and exploits his traumatic past for profit. Perea plays Angel Torres, a tech salesman who gets involved with OJ and Emerald’s obsession with the apparent UFO in the sky. And Wincott plays Antlers Holst, a cinematographer who helps the crew to capture shots of the flying saucer.
As good of an actor Kaluuya is, Palmer steals the show! Her character has this crazy energy that is really impossible to hate because she wants the attention and the fame. Em is really a trip to be around, because while she comes off as rubbing her brother the wrong way, she has use for being with what would be a bizarre situation from the sky. Kaluuya’s character is the opposite of Palmer. OJ is stoic, quiet and reserved in the family business because he knows and understands horses better than Emerald. His calming nature makes the film real for what’s happening because he’s not out there like his little sister.
Like the first 2 films, Nope has some interesting themes that can touch on us. Before the film opens, there is a Bible verse that says a lot of what you’re about to see and you still have that glued into your head. For what you’re about to see, there is a lot that showcases exploitation. For instance, there’s scenes that follows Emerald wanting to get the money shots of the UFOs. But there’s a lot of exploitations into Yuen’s character for selling his traumatizing past for fame and fortune. There’s also more that I want to talk about, but I won’t spoil it. You’re going to have to see the film yourselves for what happens.
Jordan Peele scores again with another great hit film! I think he found out what he did wrong in Us when he put a third act that doesn’t fall in line with logic. I also think he considered it as a learning exercise before he makes the same mistake in the future. Anyway, Peele made Nope due to the cinema’s crumbling future when Covid-19 was everywhere. And it’s a pretty fucking bold move! There were some great influences when he was writing the script like King Kong, Jurassic Park, Jaws and Signs because they’re films about the addiction of big things becoming a spectacle that becomes a threat. I also loved the direction he took with making Nope by making it a throwback of sci-fi films without trying to outdo other movies that have an insane budget! And this time, some of the humor Peele uses in the film isn’t annoying. Which is definitely another positive! I was thinking if I would be annoyed by the humor, but it’s not like it was with Us when it was just random and inappropriate by characters. But in writing, he keeps it in play while keeping the chemistry between them.
I also like that Peele did a lot of research on these different examinations on UFOs and SCPs. There’s a scene where one of the supporting characters explains what’s the difference between them, the idea that the government created and tried to keep it a secret, and the fact that the alien creatures can camouflage themselves as a cloud. One of my friends is an avid learner on these things, he talked about it to us when it was over and I was like, “Holy fuck! I’ll totally look it up!” Right when we were still outside, there were tons of clouds hanging over us and we were like, “Nope. Not today.” And we all just walked off laughing!
The cinematography by Hoyte van Hoytema was outstanding! He’s been known for capturing amazing shots in Christopher Nolan’s films, so Peele hired him make his shots incredible for IMAX. The sound design and the special effects were also well done too, there were times that I was terrified and blown away by how great they were designed! Michael Abels came back for a third time to make another outstanding score for Peele, and he keeps making a great score after another. There’s a scene that features a remix of the ‘80s rock song Sunglasses at Night by Corey Hart, and it’s a creepy, slowed down, chopped and screwed mix too! It’s like someone travelled back in time and delivered it to the ‘80s! Give it a go sometime!
Here’s where I’m mixed upon the film. And no, it’s not about the pacing or the runtime. The opening of the film involves a chimp named Gordy, I know I’m not supposed to spoil the film, but yes. That’s the film’s opening. The only thing I could get out of that is the idea that we’ve sent monkeys into space, due that this would be about sending them into space as an experiment of some kind before we could send ourselves. That’s just me and that’s what I thought it was going for with the metaphors. It’s still a gruesome scene but that could’ve been cut out just for the beginning and have the film show us where we would dive into Yuen’s backstory later on in the first act. Feel free to tell me your thoughts!
Well guys, after all I had to say, I think Nope was a good movie to have great fun if you like to see the throwback blockbusters of the past! But will it make me want to see again in theaters? Yes! My friends and I enjoyed Nope and I will want to see it again! This was also one of my friends’ first time seeing a Jordan Peele film and he enjoyed it. After seeing the résumé of Peele and his 3 films, he’s already gone to be the next Wes Craven, Steven Spielberg and M. Night Shyamalan! I think he is a very smart, crafted and talented filmmaker who can get a lot of powerful themes and make it harder than bullets. Just hope he doesn’t do the same thing again like he did in Us. If you’re curious about his third film, I would definitely recommend going to see it in theaters! It’s still a good movie, check it out!
I’m giving Nope 4 stars!