NOPE (2022)

NOPE.

Jordan Peele you will always be famous, though NOPE isn’t a perfect film it is however an entertaining one and a gorgeous looking one at that. If you can afford to go see this film in IMAX, I highly recommend that you do because, man, those visuals are stunning - and that’s all thanks to GOAT cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema who photographed the film using IMAX cameras. And boy, you can tell.

NOPE does open a bit slow, as it spends a lot of time establishing these characters and their world and all that jazz, but it slowly builds up and the second half of it is very entertaining. Though I will say that I do wish that the film had more tension to it or at least a feeling of dread/eeriness so that when I’m finally shown the animal/monster I can be spooked out.

I also think that the film could have been more concise, there are some things that sure are important to certain themes of the film but if you removed them completely those themes would still be landed. Also, it doesn’t really have a very satisfactory ending for me, I was left wanting more. And the UFO/alien itself wasn’t menacing or scary to me at all. In fact, I have questions about its origins and what it actually is because as much as the film explains it as an animal, an extremely territorial one at that, I still want to know what it is and how it got here.

I do love that it’s a summer blockbuster that isn’t just mindless, but it has a lot to say about animal nature/behaviour, the exploitative nature of humans for entertainment which even makes one ignore trauma/danger and rather use it for financial gain (the textbook definition of capitalism). The film also is love letter to filmmaking, a friend even pointed out to me that the animal’s angry form is a giant sensor that people can’t stop staring at. One of the film’s recurring themes even about “film vs digital”. It’s also a homage to Peele’s favourite blockbuster films. Part of me feels like Peele was making social commentary on how “content is killing the kids”, the need for the “perfect shot” even if it kills you. It says those things while looking good.

Keke Palmer bodies her role in this and with Daniel Kaluuya playing her brother, the two make sense. Overall, it’s an entertaining blockbuster that may not be perfect, but its positives outweigh the bad and it’s got one hell of spectacle for a finale.