Nope — A Short Critique
This will seem to be written too late, because I waited to see Nope when it was streaming on a service I use. It premiered way back in July ’22, so probably most everyone who was planning on watching it has done so. And everyone that saw it has had plenty of time to decide whether they liked it or not, and all the shades of opinions in between by now have been formed and filed away.
Regardless of the lateness of my opinion, I knew as soon as the end credits started to roll that I was going to need to say something about what I had just seen. I thought it was horrible. Don’t get that adjective mixed-up with ‘horrifying’. Horrifying would have been good — its supposed to be a horror movie. But I mean horrible. The characters, the story, the special effects, the pacing, the direction (by this I mean what the camera was directed to show the viewer — how smoothly and appealingly the picture flowed)… I found them all to be bad.
My disappointment is certainly at least in part because of the esteem I still have for Jordan Peele. I am a big fan of Key and Peele, and was always proud of how they represented the black community in their genre of entertainment — sketch comedy. And it has been an unexpected but pleasing development to see how Peele has become such a successful and sought-after moviemaker. I hope the heady hype has not affected his ability to create good entertainment. What I mean by that is, sometimes the crush of being in favor can change a creative person. I think it changed M. Night Shyamalan. I think trying to capture and reproduce the formula of his success caused some of his later offerings to be sort of diluted, knock-off versions of what made his first movies so affecting.
It’s the reason why so many sequels in general are just not as good as the original. Because instead of taking the basic outline and adding new, deeper tangents or broadening the spectrum of themes or issues in the story, the writers and producers try to distill their initial success into a formula and get it out as quickly as they can to reap the rewards and adulation. Just one man’s opinion.
I had a hard time staying with ‘Nope’ until the end, but I held on thinking the big reveal would make the tedium seem worthwhile. It doesn’t. It just seems weird and contrived to me.
I’ll still be onboard for whatever else Mr Peele comes up with next. I’m still curious about what that amazing imagination of his might produce.
But as for this one? — Nope? — nope.