It’s very easy to feel conflicted about a Jordan Peele movie since the truth is that he does like to cast people of color as the leads for his movies, all three of them…and that’s perfectly okay. It definitely gives a different and much-needed perspective, but when it comes to the idea that everyone else is bound to look foolish and somehow moronic at the best of times, it’s a bit revealing since it makes it appear as if the director is making a statement that if made by a director who is not a person of color would be seen as highly controversial. And yet, in this family-driven thriller, it would appear that a lot of people are willing to do the same thing they did in Get Out and Us, which is to ignore the fact that as effective as these actors are, they’re being asked to perpetuate a story that is the reverse of what Peele and many others might want to see in cinema. Anyway, getting past that nonsense and turning off one’s brain just long enough to get into the story, Nope is a monosyllabic response to something that feels like it could have been drawn up by a beginning film student…in high school. Take that as you will, since this movie is kind of a big WTF from start to finish, with moments of greatness that are cut short by moments that can make just about anyone roll their eyes and ask ‘really?’ in as sarcastic a tone as they possibly can.
The characters were intriguing, at least if one shuts out any preconceived notions.
OJ and Em do present themselves as characters that are at different points in their lives and who want something very different, as Em comes off as someone who would much rather be off and away from the ranch for good, while OJ might not have a lot of hope, but he clings to his responsibility all the same. As for the rest of the characters, they come off as little more than caricatures that apparently didn’t need to be given that much depth since they end up looking like empty shells that are given leave to act just enough to be convincing. That’s kind of an insult really to Steven Yeun since he’s done enough at this point to be seen as someone that should be given a role that’s far more impactful than a slick-talking rodeo barker.
The reveal left a little to be desired.
So the thing that’s terrorizing the area is…wait for it…a giant space blob that can fly at high speeds has an anti-electricity barrier that’s a natural ability, and it can swallow several people at a time. Oh, and it spits out anything that’s inorganic or can’t be digested because it has a sensitive stomach apparently. Did I mention that it spat out a torrent of blood as well over the Holloway’s house? This kind of makes it feel as though Peele should have stuck to horror. It’s usually a good idea to venture outside of one’s comfort zone, but there were so many different ways that Peele could have done this and more than a few ways that he could have created a creature that might have been a little more impressive. But a giant blob that unfolds like a massive origami alien and can float like it weighs nothing? This movie might have been a little better if the creature hadn’t been revealed at all, save for the occasional blurred sighting.
The idea was interesting, but the execution felt forced, much like Get Out.
It’s been said more than once concerning Peele’s movies he doesn’t appear to want anyone other than people of color to be intelligent or even worth watching since everyone else comes off as kind of moronic and ineffectual. The fact is that people of color have been seen as intelligent and capable in more than a few movies over the years, and while they haven’t always been leads, they’ve been of great importance to the movies, sometimes more so than the leads they act alongside. So to be fair, the representation that he’s giving is great for diversity and inclusion, but for accuracy, it feels safe to give him a very low grade when it comes to how he apparently views those of other races and cultures. But hey, he’s the director.
It’s an original idea, that much can be said for it.
It’s original enough, let’s say that, and be done with it. He does come up with his own ideas, but this one might have benefited from another few days on the drawing board since it almost feels as though he found himself stuck at some point and just decided upon a giant space blob that consumed people. Or, was that the initial thought?