Let's have a Keke about Nope

Fri. July 22, 2022 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn

Jordan Peele's latest project Nope gallops into theaters this weekend and he gives audiences a great deal to talk about and chew on. Peele started his career with strong roots in Chicago and The Second City then later made his first film Get Out to high critical acclaim. His second horror film Us had some standout moments and his third Nope is a mix of the two previous works in terms of the good, the bad and the ugly. 

Everyone can appreciate his directorial deals with Black representation in a genre that was sorely lacking and his pop culture references remain important while still being fun. His films are chock full of Easter eggs and watchers can play along and hunt for hidden props and set pieces along the way while taking the journey. This is a brilliant and fun tactic that encourages repeat viewings of all of Peele's projects.  

Nope follows the story of OJ Haywood played by Daniel Kaluuya and his sister Emerald who are tending a farm and both work as animal wranglers for big-budget Hollywood shows. An alien spaceship is spotted in the town of Agua Dulces, California which makes for an out-of-this-world adventure with plenty of pop-out scares and bizarre unpredictable moments. 

The casting is spot on in a perfect setting that allows for a great deal of creativity from Peele and the gang for Nope. The comedy is subtle at times and the script covers original territory that makes this piece unique. Palmer and Brandon Perea as Angel Torres, a local techie, are both standouts while Kaluuya relies on some of his usual performance crutches of blank stares. Kaluuya is given some of the best lines though as Peele's muse.  

Now that monkeypox is on the prowl, monkeys have become triggering recently and some of the scenes in Nope are simply horrific. Peele's Monkeypaw Productions are part of a Universal partnership that will most likely have more chimpanzee references in the future so beware if this is not your bag. 

Nope earns a yep from this reviewer but is not the masterpiece of Get Out. It is easier to digest than Us though and these aliens seem to be hungry for more so who knows when they may return in the future.

The symbolism and storyline make this endeavor never boring and highly watchable on the big screen for cinema-goers beginning July 22, 2022. Run over to your local theater before Nope disappears back into the clouds...