So I will admit it took me a long time to finally watch nope. It's a Jordan Peele film and no matter how much indifference I have for the genre a lot of his films fall into, I will always check his films out at some point. Luckily I was able to stay away from spoilers and people talking about the film so my opinion was not swayed before I took this journey. (Spoilers ahead!!!)
Let's start with the story. Much less somber and dark than Get Out and US, nope was pretty refreshing. I am a huge sci-fi fan and mystery/thriller may be my favorite kind of movie. Nope managed to blend that all up in a very unique way while also sprinkling just the right amount of humor on top. Although I have praise for what was done and the chances that were taken I still found it to be either a little to cryptic or to on the nose a lot of the time. Which is not always a bad thing from an audience perspective but in this particular film I could have used just a little more "ohhhhhhh crap" mind blow, dot connecting moments.
The character development is probably my biggest issue with the film. While I can understand the main character OJ being a stoic detached stable boy (Dianel Kaluuya) with the exception of maybe Ricky (Steven Yeun) I didn't get much building, understanding, or growth from the other characters. They all just seem like pawns to fill spots in the plot that needed to be filled with no connective tissue to anything going on.
With all that being said the acting was pretty great all around. Everyone mostly fit into a nice pocket where it was pretty believable that these people were experiencing an extraordinary event. At times Emerlad (Keke Palmer) was a bit too colorful and over the top for my liking but I understand the need to balance out the monotone OJ. Ricky came off great as a man trying to recapture his life and balance his demons while the IT guy Angel (Brandon Perea) made me have nightmares about every encounter I have ever had with Best Buys Geek Squad.....so he nailed it.
The look of the film really helped drive home the idea of a UFO flying around undiscovered. The deserted environment along with the great day time shots gave the film a very lonely and spooky tone without having to rely on dark corners or jump scares. That is probably one of the films greatest achievements. Sure you can make things seem creepy or dangerous in the dark corners but to do that in broad daylight in an open space? Now that takes some skill and Nope defiantly delivered on that.
The music in the film fit perfect keeping in line with the tone of the film. Favorites like Dionne Warwicks "Walk On By" and a terrifying rendition of Cory Hart's "Sunglasses At Night" went so well you would think they were mad specifically for the film. Even with mega hits such as those the crown jewel of this soundtrack is Michael Wincott's performance of Sheb Wooley's "The Purple People Eater" I enjoyed this probably more than anyone should have but it was just one of those movie moments that could have came off so bad or be genius and in this case its the latter!
So was it all worth it? YES! i don't regret watching the film and even gave it a second go the next day to pick up on little things that i missed. Kudos to Jordan Peele for taking the UFO little people trope and flipping it on its head. The moment when (Spoilers!!) it was revealed that Jean Jacket(the UFO) was not actually a ship holding little grey men but actually a creature on its own was a huge reveal great payoff and something so refreshing and satisfying in a genre that suffers from rehashes and repeats. Also by giving Nope a definitive ending we don't get sucked into the now routine sequels possibility dribble that is so prevalent in todays movie. A Sci-fi thriller with an actual ending......ahhhhhh refreshing. Oh and the black people live, another 1980's genera headflip!
Character development 5
Cinematography and editing 7
Ending payoff 7