Jordan Peele has had a significantly successful career since the finale of Key & Peele, with the comedian choosing to begin making films. Peele started off his filmmaking journey with a huge cultural impact, directing Get Out, one of the biggest films of the past 10 years. When Get Out was released, no one knew what to expect from Peele, and he did more than deliver. The film touched on themes that most directors wouldn't even dream of putting on screen, and he did it masterfully. Peele would then go on to direct the horror film Us next, and some labeled it "the greatest horror film of all time." Us wasn't as fine-tuned as Get Out was, but it definitely showed that the director was a force to be reckoned with. After the release of Us, Peele would take a break from directing the film and move his focus to producing until he was ready to announce his next project. Some fans were wondering if the director would be able to pull off another great film, and now that I've seen his third film, Nope, I can safely say that the film is one of the greatest takes on the sci-fi genre.
Just like the rest of Peele's films, not much is known about the plot of Nope, until you watch it. Universal Pictures did a great job of hiding what the film was really about throughout the marketing, but gave us as much as we should know. The film focuses on Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer, who play caretakers at a horse ranch in California, that is until an unknown force starts affecting the behavior of people and animals. That force just so happens to be what everyone assumes is an alien spacecraft.
Nope features some of the same themes as the rest of Peele's movies, all while being totally different. The film, interestingly enough, could be labeled as the director's first creature-feature project, and while at times it could leave you scratching your head in confusion, it is also beautifully crafted, performed, and delivered. In the beginning of Nope, there's a major death that is labeled a freak accident, which leads Kaluuya and Palmer on a horrific mission. When the film leans more into its horror aspects is when it starts to really work. What sets Nope apart from its predecessors is how Peele gets to show off his mastery of filmmaking.
With Nope, Peele decided to re-team with his Get Out star with Kaluuya in the leading role, O.J. Haywood, and Palmer there as his co-lead, Emerald Haywood. The film also stars Steven Yeun as Ricky "Jupe" Park, Brandon Perea as Angel Torres, Michael Winford as Antlers Holst, Wren Schmidt as Amber Park, and Keith David as Otis Haywood Sr. The film features some groundbreaking performances from Kaluuya and Palmer, with Yeun and Perea delivering on another level. Throughout the film, you honestly feel like these characters are really being attacked by aliens and you can feel the gravity of the situation which makes the film even scarier than I think Peele intended it to be.
If you're a fan of Peele's films, this is probably his most interesting project. When you think Nope is going left, the director makes sure that it goes right, and this makes him one of the only filmmakers that is making his own original IP into event films. With some brilliant performances by Palmer, Kaluuya, Yeun, and Perea, Nope is the film of the summer. If you're looking for a film that will scare you as well as think about what's going on in the world, then this is the film you're looking for. Nope is a sci-fi work of art.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Nope will be released exclusively in movie theaters on July 22nd.