How to even describe Nope?
Not quite a horror, not quite a thriller, not quite a comedy, but somehow all three, Jordan Peele’s latest film resists categorization. Captivating from the first scene, NopeAs get out and We in front of him, the races in the blink of an eye. Along the way, audiences are treated to a visual feast of color and an oddly simplistic grandiosity — and trust me, the effects team spared no effort on this film.
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It’s hard to talk about the film without the spoiler, so here’s the gist of the plot: The film follows siblings OJ and Emerald Haywood (Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer), who are saddled (sorry) with the company show horses from their family. and ranch after the sudden death of their father. So basic, one might think. Nope, Nope goes much, much deeper.
What do you mean?
There are a lot of things happening throughout the film. Although it’s not seemingly clear, as with all of Peele’s films, there is an undercurrent of societal commentary. Animal cruelty, family connection, Hollywood, black history and portrayal – each of these topics, and many more, are touched on in one way or another. In some cases it’s not subtle, but in others it takes several hours after watching Nope so that he really sinks. If there’s a candidate for a second (or third or fourth) viewing, it’s this movie.
Is it scary?
In some scenes, yes. Like turning away from the screen, tense and scary. Gore is kept to a minimum, but there are a few particularly brutal moments, so be prepared for that.
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How are Kaluuya and Palmer?
Their brother-sister relationship is so perfect it’s a wonder they aren’t actually bonded. They are repellent to each other; Kaluuya’s earnest, intense gaze is so expressive and perfect, and Palmer’s high-energy, no-prisoners demeanor gives the film pizzazz and some of its much-needed levity. Steven Yeun, as a former child star turned amusement park entertainer, is also terrific.
How creative is the plot?
So creative that I don’t know how Peele comes up with this stuff. In a world of rote superhero movies and remakes, it’s so refreshing to see something original push the boundaries of cinema. Peele’s work is so remarkable and so distinct his, he is on his way to becoming one of the masters of the craft. It may sound like hyperbole, and it may be the result of the same thing over and over again in theaters, but Nope is both fun and gripping, something most movies these days aren’t. The deafening praise from critics happens for a reason – more of that please, Hollywood!
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You talked about effects. What kinds of things can we expect?
There are several scenes where the theater audience gasped audibly. Truly stunning spectacle and visual effects. Somehow it reminded me of the first time I saw HEYthe first time I saw the UFO and saw Elliott take off and fly on his bike.
The movie goes places you never thought it would go; so many disparate ideas merged into one end result that is hard to summarize. Dozens of people sat in their seats stunned after the film ended, a testament to the journey it takes you on. My biggest recommendation is to avoid spoilers and go clear. It’s a film you want to see without prejudice.
What’s the bottom line?
Nope is the best movie of the year so far, there really is no comparison. Young, old, moviegoers or not, it should appeal to all audiences. Do yourself a favor and get tickets now. You will not regret it.
‘Nope’ is now playing in theaters across Canada. Please check local listings for details.
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