Nope is an absolute, uncategorical “Yes”. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves because this latest juicy morsel from Jordan Peele is much better digested slow.
Daniel Kaluuya is Otis “OJ” Jr. Haywood, son to a horse trainer who is felled by random falling airplane debris. Or was he? Returning home is OJ’s sister, Emerald as played by Keke Palmer only complicates OJ’s life. Chalk and cheese to OJ, she is the family dreamer, who is initially drunk on stardust whereas the more dour OJ is struggling to keep the family’s horse wrangling business going. However, when both brother and sister notice a UFO-like entity strafing their destitute farm, they sense a potential payday in the offing – if only they can just get that “Oprah shot” that’ll prove the UFO’s existence. But it’s Jordan Peele and so things are never going to be that transparent.
... Nope, the hype is real. Jordan Peele's latest sci-fi, comedy-horror flick is going to eat you up.
And whilst this far, this might all sound like a comic caper – Nope, ít isn’t. In a film beset with power outages and voluminous sounds which go bump in the daylight, Nope is a horror-tinged, sci-fi drama that overflows with atmosphere from its very first arched eyebrow.
Chiefly responsible for most of these is Daniel Kaluuya. Back again with Get Out director Jordan Peele, his OJ truly has roots of responsibility growing out from his feet and his turn keeps the film brilliantly grounded. Keke Palmer is also fantastically combustible as Emerald and Nope stills finds space for Steven Yeun to be a traumatised child star finding solace in being a cowboy and one of my personal favourite actors, Michael Wincott growling through the last act with a sandpapered voice that would put Sam Elliott to shame.
As such, you can expect jump scares, aplenty as Jordan Peele broadens his palette further inside a movie that feels like Close Encounters of The Third Kind as if directed by Lars Von Trier. Impish and unapologetic for being deliberately mysterious, this is a playful sci-fi drama that never leans too hard into its horrific overtones. Sure, there’s a tiny bit of gore here and there but it only strays into sinew when it needs to.
Feeling like a substantial upgrade to Us, which took the rabbit out far too early, Nope continually teases you with what might be inside the bag. With a terrific score and sound design by Michael Abels that subtly gets you to paint its voids, Hoyte Van Hoytema’s cinematography rounds things out with visuals that grows increasingly epic in scale.
So, if you fancy watching a film where, Nope – for the most part, its characters don’t make any dumb horror movie decisions, and who are forced into difficult, engaging choices then Nope there isn’t anything close be it this or any other summer.
The hype is real. Jordan Peele’s latest sci-fi, comedy-horror flick is going to eat you up, so dig in for a real treat.