Film Review – Nope

Nope (M)

Directed by: Jordan Peele

Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Brandon Perea

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Review by: Julian Wright

Modern horror master Jordan Peele gives us a new reason to look to the skies, or rather, not look with his latest film Nope.

When his ranch owner father dies in mysterious circumstances, grieving OJ Haywood (Daniel Kaluuya) struggles to keep the family Hollywood horse training business alive.

The situation worsens when he is fired off a commercial set after one of his horses reacts violently and OJ is forced to sell horses to his Western theme park owning neighbour Jupe (Steven Yuen) just to keep money coming in.

OJ’s fame seeking sister Emerald (Keke Palmer) arrives on the scene and the two realise that something unusual is happening in the clouds above their ranch and around the nearby hills and they devise a way to capture the phenomenon on film.

With Nope, Peele shifts gear slightly, offering a fresh twist on the UFO formula and delivering a fun and frightening blend of Spielberg, Shyamalan and Tarantino inspired adventure.

While his latest film might not quite leave the visceral and emotional impact that Get Out or Us did, Peele continues to explore fascinating themes, this time taking the opportunity to look into the role Black people have in the film industry and their significant contributions that are often overlooked and/or forgotten.

Just as his characters live in the shadow of those who have made their mark and attempt to carve their own legacy, Peele does so with his own art.

And he doesn’t mind having a lot of fun while doing it.

Kaluuya is typically solid, with his brooding performance and little dialogue giving Palmer the space to shine – and she emerges the star, holding her own next to her Academy Award nominated co-star.

Peele’s blend of socially conscious themes and spectacle just makes one hungry for more films from this modern movie-making genius.

There is a lot of creativity swirling around in that head of his and his next projects cannot come soon enough.

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