Nope

One thing for certain when you watch a Jordan Peele movie, you’ll be thinking about it after it is finished. Peele’s third film, Nope, does not break that streak.

Peele’s horror/thriller film followed brother and sister OJ Hayward (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald Hayward (Keke Palmer) who were horse trainers for movies. The Haywards were struggling with their business, forcing the to sell some of their horses off to pay their bills.

However, one night there was a discovery of something in the skies that changed the siblings’ mindset. Something that they believed would fix all their problems if they could just get this recorded.

Nope is one of those movies that is very difficult to talk about without dealing in spoilers, so I will do what I can to critique the film without going into specifics.

Let me start with the main two characters, portrayed by Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer. Kaluuya is excellent as the stoic, quiet, almost brooding head of the horse training, but Keke Palmer steals the show. She was absolutely fantastic as Emerald, bringing so much energy, emotion, humor and anxiety to the role. Steven Yeun was good in his limited screen time, but I would have liked more from him. Brandon Perea added a nice touch as a supporting character from the Best Buy-type shop.

The visuals and the special effects were gorgeous and the cinematography was exquisite. This film looked amazing and helped create the tension that was prevalent in the movie.

Speaking of tension, Jordan Peele is unbelievable at creating anxiety and tension in his movies. You are constantly on the edge of your seat and are never quite sure what was going to happen next.

There are a couple of scenes that worked tremendously well, but did not seem to have any purpose in the film outside of providing some background to one of the lesser used characters. I loved the scenes, they were were filled with suspense and fright, but I am just not sure why they were included.

Then, the reveal of what was happening felt a little off. It is not really a twist in the story. It is really just telling us what was going on and it felt a little flat. Again, it looked amazing and it worked in the context of the scenes that it was in, but something felt lacking.

Nope did feel like there were a couple different movies crammed together into one, with each movie needing more to flesh them out.

While I do have some criticisms of the film, I liked it more than I did the last Jordan Peel film, Us, though it does not reach the excellence of Get Out. I enjoyed my experience of watching the movie and came out mostly satisfied.

3.7 stars

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