Nope (2022), Dir Jordan Peele, Universal Pictures, 5*****: Matthew Alicoon


Universal Pictures

Running Time: 130 Minutes

Nope follows two ranch-based siblings (Played by Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer) who attempt to capture evidence of an unidentified flying object. This plot synopsis is vague, as Nope contains a lot of surprises that are best to be witnessed for yourself on the biggest screen possible.

Jordan Peele’s eloquent direction and visual eye has provided one of the most immersive cinematic experiences this year. Nope has a simple story which pays homage to content such as Alien and The X Files. However, to say Jordan Peele has made a straightforward film is a massive disservice, as there is underlying social commentary that is brilliantly interwoven within the story that is realistic to human nature. Jordan Peele has enhanced Nope to make it a rich and innovative genre portrait due to the diverse range of subtexts that can be interpreted by the viewer. The film articulates the notion of a spectacle and what people are willing to do with the spectacle afterwards. It plays with the notion of “What is the true price of a spectacle?”. It is a fascinating and intricate character study due to juxtaposing character personalities. 

Daniel Kaluuya’s performance is smartly character appropriate given the context of his character arc. His silence and facial expressions say a lot about his mindset. However, Steven Yeun has an integral role in the film, as his character has a tragic history that is played on masterfully as an overriding force in the characters head. How Steven Yeun’s character plays with this memory feels authentic and convincing based on how the wider context of how this can relate back to society. Keke Palmer provides an upbeat performance full of charm and charisma. The dynamic between the siblings solidifies strongly as the film progresses.

Nope is a technical juggernaut due to Hoyte Van Hoytema’s cinematography which is an absolute masterclass in immaculate and impactive framing. The film carries a high amount of immersion through the sweeping landscapes. In the context of the characters looking up into the sky, as the camera moves you may find as audience members your head starts to tilt up to try and see more of the frame. The point of view positioning by Hoyte van Hoytema is superbly influential into the intensity of the film, as there is the question of what is truly going on. The film also has some of the most unnerving sequences from a release this year which make you feel uneasy. The night-time shots are beautiful yet carry such mystique and eeriness. Johnnie Burn’s sound design is harmonious in creating a chilling atmosphere. The noise is fundamental to the pure terror that is being inflicted onto you while watching.

Jordan Peele shot Nope using IMAX cameras and I highly recommend seeing the film in IMAX, as the screen is engulfed throughout with this gorgeously shot film that sounds unbelievable and looks pristine. It feels like Jordan Peele’s grandeur approach is starting to accompany other creatives like Christopher Nolan in terms of the cinematic scope a film can have.

Nope is the perfect summer immersion that deserves to be seen on the biggest screen possible.

Daniel Kaluuya as OJ Haywood

Keke Palmer as Emerald Haywood

Steven Yeun as Ricky Jupe Park

Brandon Perea as Angel Torres

Michael Wincott as Antlers Holst

ReviewsGate Copyright Protection