NOPE Review — Confusing and Frustrating But at Times Entertaining

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Lisa Johnson Mandell’s Nope review says writer/director/producer Jordan Peele’s latest fails to deliver on the promise of Get Out.

Nope reviewNope starts out with one of the most chilling and understated sequences in recent memory:

Something has gone very wrong on the living room set of an 80’s sitcom. Lamps and furniture are broken, and a pair of feet sticks out from behind a sofa. One sneaker is inexplicably balanced upright on its heel.

A chimp dressed in children’s clothing and a birthday hat lumbers on set, nudges a prone foot, then looks menacingly straight into the camera, into the audience.

Brilliant scene. Too bad the rest of the movie doesn’t deliver on the promise of the opening.

Without a segue, we’re immersed in the story of a foundering Hollywood horse ranch, where strange things are happening, and aliens are suspected of being responsible for them. There are mysterious signs of their presence hovering over the ranch.

A pair of siblings of siblings, brother OJ (a laconic Daniel Kaluuya) and sister Emerald (a radiant Keke Palmer) are trying and failing to make a go of the ranch by providing trained horses for Hollywood productions.

They decide that all their problems will be solved if they can get the Oprah money shot of the alien craft. And their entire story line is dedicated to getting that priceless photo.

Their motivation is not saving the world from increasingly aggressive and hungry aliens. It’s not protecting their family, friends, neighbors and horses. Their motivation is simply not strong enough to keep an audience highly invested.

Neither is the suspense. There are no jump scares, few terrifying, edge of your seat moments. Scenes are cut before a split second before the action happens, and audiences are left on their own to figure out what’s implied.

It’s also up to the audience to figure out where the damn chimp fits in. It seems one of the child actor who starred in the ill-fated sitcom is now all grown up and running a threadbare Western theme park adjacent to the siblings’ ranch. He too has spotted the aliens in the sky.

It’s a loose connection at best, one that is frustratingly never explained.

Also frustrating are the special effects. With all the resources available to him, you’d think writer/director/producer Jordan Peele would come up with alien innards and appendages that looked like something more than flowing silk curtains and fringe.

Now if you’re into sitting back and looking at strong performances and a string of disconnected, creepy images masterfully shot and edited, this is your film.

But if you’re looking for suspense, jump scares, a coherent plot and a story you actually care about, will you find it here?

Nope.

Rated R

Two hours, 15 minutes

Lisa Johnson Mandell’s Nope review says writer/director/producer Jordan Peele’s latest fails to deliver on the promise of Get Out.

If this Nope review makes you want to ride on over to the cineplex and pick up some tickets, find out when and where you can see it on Fandango.com.

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and seen on Rotten Tomatoes. She recently founded the new lifestyle website ReallyRather.com, where celebrities and experts share their 5 favorite things in the fields of entertainment, lifestyle, wellness, home and food & drink.

1 Comment

  1. Jan Allred on July 23, 2022 at 2:34 am

    Thanks Lisa! Emily and I really liked “Us” and “Get Out” and were wondering about this movie. The reviews are so mixed. Sounds like people either love it or find it confusing and overly long. I’m torn about seeing it.

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