If you came face to face with an alien, what would you do? Would you run, freeze up, try to communicate with it, or try to hurt it? If it were me, I would probably freak out and freeze up. Or simply just see it and say… “Nope”.
“Nope” is also the latest film written and directed by Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us). Starring Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Brandon Perea, Michael Wincott, Keith David, and Steven Yeun, its story involves a reserved and quiet man named O.J. Haywood (Kaluuya) and his father, Otis (Keith), who run their family business training horses to be used in movies. After Otis passes away from a freak accident, O.J. tries to keep the business going for a year before his sister, Emerald (Palmer), shows up to “help” (which may be generous). One night, the power goes out which freaks out the horses, leading to O.J. to discover what could be an alien craft, and it all goes downhill from there.
“Nope” basically has only five characters, but with actors like Keith and Wincott, they do what they are supposed to do and do it well with Kaluuya, who has worked with Peele before (almost on the level of Tom Hanks and Ron Howard or Johnny Depp and Tim Burton) and knows how to play that reserved type of character. Palmer adds some great comic relief, but my shout-out goes to Perea in his first feature-length film.
Given how much I liked Peele’s movies that have come before this one, this film is a bit of a departure for him on the big screen. He has dealt with science fiction from his work with Paramount Plus’ take on “The Twilight Zone,” but there is a lot more here than a short story with quite a few subplots that for me left many of the questions I had unanswered. One example is the backstory of the main characters that does give a glimpse of their pasts but not enough to understand why they are who they have become. Beyond that, there is a lot of things that seemed to be filler like at the start with a monkey on a TV set which does pay off later, but not in a way that I could tie to the main story. Even after the screening talking to other critics, I found that I was not alone there in a film that is two hours and fifteen minutes long and could have been fine at one hour forty-five. Yes there are people who will go see the film just because of the Peele but unfortunately it won’t be me because I will not watch this film again.