There is something strange in the neighborhood. Oh, sorry, wrong movie. However, still fitting. Because in a desolate desert town, somewhere in the middle of nowhere in California, very strange things begin to happen. And, for Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Brandon Perea, and Jordan Peele, this is a very clear Nope.
THE NOPE STORY
A remote horse ranch. Somewhere in California. That is where Otis Haywood Sr. (Keith David) lives with his two children. On the one hand, there is the introverted OJ (Daniel Kaluuya). On the other hand, is his sister, the vivid Emerald (Keke Palmer).
The family finances their modest existence by training horses for film and advertising shoots. So, as idyllic as it’s boring.
Into this dreariness comes action as inexplicable things happen in the sky. Unfortunately, these things immediately claim one fatality, OJ’s father, Otis. Therefore, suddenly left to fend for themselves, Emerald and OJ think about how to improve their lives.
Besides all the bad, they see an opportunity for fortune and fame. Hence, they try to document what is happening on film.
Said and done. However, both quickly realize that it is anything but easy to film fast-moving objects. And so – admittedly involuntarily – they team up with Angel Torres (Brandon Perea). He’s not just an electronics salesman. Moreover, he’s a true technology freak.
Therefore, Angel helps the Haywoods install a top-notch CCTV system. But how stupid. Even the latest technology is not suitable for this big project.
So, they ask documentary filmmaker Antlers Holst (Michael Wincott) to join the crew. Both had met the constantly grumbling IMAX cameraman on a commercial shoot. Finally, the experienced filmmaker then also manages to record those mysterious events. What they see now leaves them speechless. Nearly. Because they still have some breath for a quiet Nope.
NOPE – THE MAIN CAST
OJ HAYWOOD AKA DANIEL KALUUYA
Certainly, Daniel Kaluuya didn’t have to think twice about Jordan Peele’s offer to star in his new film Nope. After all, their first collaboration, Get Out, brought Kaluuya his first Oscar nomination. A perfect foundation. Because last year Daniel received the golden boy as the seventh-youngest winner of the Academy Award for his role in Judas and the Black Messiah.
Furthermore, he is also the first British actor of African descent to take home an Oscar. We also know Kaluuya from Black Panther. As is well known, he will return to his role as W’Kabi in the sequel. It will come to cinemas soon. Besides, we shouldn’t forget the film Sicario. Alongside Emilie Blunt, he was able to show his talent in the role of Reggie Wayne in 2015.
EMERALD HAYWOOD AKA KEKE PALMER
Keke Palmer plays OJ’s slightly lively sister. The actress and singer shows what a real influencer is. Because at her young age, she has not only produced two studio albums and participated in countless TV productions, such as most recently in Lightyear.
Moreover, Keke Palmer is a spirited activist who works with the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of the American charity Cool To Be Smart program. Here, she talks to children about how important a good education is for their future. Keke is also a supporter of YWCA, Saving our Daughters, Urban Farming, and the Girl Scouts.
But of course, Keke Palmer has had a special influence through her support of the Black Live Matter Movement. Back then, she marched in Hollywood as part of the George Floyd protest. Furthermore, she spoke about the movement in her opening monologue at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards. As a result, Time Magazine included her in Time’s 100 Next list.
This list presents the 100 rising stars who will shape the future of business, sports, entertainment, health, politics, and science. So far, she has also shaped many TV series with her voice. Last but not least, she announced the film Being Mortal for 2023.
DIRECTOR JORDAN PEELE
With Nope, Jordan Peele shows, once again, that he can effortlessly switch between horror and the comedy genre. Here are his roots. Peele became famous as a member of MAD TV and many amusing video productions.
He also started his filmmaking career with a comedy, Keanu. However, his second film became his big breakthrough. With Get Out, he gave space to his darker side. Get Out was not only a big success. Moreover, it brought Jordan Peele an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
With BlacKkKlansman, Us, and now Nope, he underlines one thing. That we really have to get involved with his films. So we come to the review.
THE NOPE REVIEW
Actually, Nope is not a horror film. Howsoever, it’s also not an action movie. Nope is mainly quiet. And, as still waters run very deep, “Nope” is it too. We have to think to understand Jordan Peele’s new film. And even then, for every viewer, the movie has different messages in store. That means we – each for ourselves – can interpret a lot into the story. What we “see” and how we watch Nope depends on our own experiences, fears, worries, and hopes.
Personally, I discovered a bold social criticism. A critique of the way we live today, in which strange beings control us. And we look up to them because they make our lives so easy with the most diverse clouds. Perhaps we realize too late that they are literally sucking us in and out.
Personally, I love watching calm movies like Nope for a change. Films that, like a good book, make me ponder. Movies that don’t show me everything directly. However, films that respect my intellect and give space to my own imagination.
WHAT’S IN THE SKY? ASKS SKYY VODKA
Daniel Kaluuya once again plays his role with flying colors. His facial expression says more than 1000 words. Keke Palmer is also performing well. On the one hand, her acting is a little over the top here and there. On the other hand, Emerald’s energetic nature is a good contrast to OJ’s somewhat lethargic character image.
Nope is exciting throughout, even if it’s rather quiet until the showdown. How could it be otherwise when a comedian is behind the camera, this tension is relieved by the occasional pun. Don’t expect any slapstick here either. In fact, the joke Nope has already in its name is as deep as the rest of the film.
So, if you’re looking for a bit of horror, paired with a deep story, presented by really good actors, visualized with great pictures, and underscored by an intense soundscape and great soundtrack, you’ve come to the right spot at Nope. We give the film 7.5/10 points.
Text: Marco Kokkot
Images Movie: © Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved.