There are a handful of recent movies that may have saved cinema (Top Gun: Maverick, anyone?), and director Jordan Peele has done his damnest to be in that category this year. But, does he succeed?
Peele said he wrote the script “at a time when we were a little bit worried about the future of cinema. So the first thing I knew is I wanted to create a spectacle. I wanted to create something that the audience would have to come see.” And in that sense, he sort of did, because I went to IMAX just for him.
The plot is about the residents of a lonely gulch in inland California that bear witness to an uncanny and chilling discovery. After the first teaser trailer, audiences speculated that NOPE = Not of Planet Earth.
Peele has always been on my list of great up-and-coming directors after his outstanding directorial debut with Get Out followed by his chilling second feature, Us.
“With Get Out, Peele instantly established himself as an incisive parabolist, particularly on the subject of systemic racism in America, with a gift for crafting allegories that enlighten their subjects without simplifying them, and building them around concepts, like Get Out’s sunken place and the tethered of Us, powerful enough to take on a life of their own.” via Slate.
Unfortunately, Nope fails to uphold the greatness that we know him for. With Peele’s movies, there’s always the deeper message behind the lens, but Nope falls flat.
Some speculate that the film it’s about the entertainment industry’s historical erasure of people of color; it’s about what happens when we replace history with myth, and myth with the empty calories of summer blockbusters.
The problem I have with Peele is that my expectations are set very high; he’s an undeniably brilliant storyteller. And he must know this, because he told GQ, “I don’t understand why people can’t just let me make a movie.”
“Jordan Peele has proudly noted in interviews that a movie like Nope—an original, big-budget spectacle with a Black writer–director and Black leads—could not have been made five years ago. Not even he knows where we’ll be five years from now.” via Slate.
It’s an undoubtedly entertaining blockbuster from a tremendous director. I just wish the depth and direction were at the forefront like his previous work. ☁️😔