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Nope (2022)

Firstly, what was the deal with the monkey in the tv studio with the bloodied hands at the beginning? It's kind of a trick Peele would use, but because of his now infamous directing style, it made me wonder what he was playing at. Peele reminds me of an early M. Knight Shyamalan.

You know, making decent movies with the best will in the world, whilst the rest of Hollywood rubs their respective hands, waiting for his inevitable downfall, just hoping and praying he drops a clanger, which of course he did. A couple, in fact, but you only really need one.

Of course as time goes on, we learn about Gordy and his temper, alluding to every animal having a limit of some kind before they go loco, normally brought on by the way they are treated by us, the master race. How much confidence you have that this will be addressed fully is down to faith and blind confidence, I would imagine.

"Ancient aliens, History Channel. Watch that shit."

UAP or UFO, I'm not fussed. I'm not buying the hasty theory that "they" changed the name to throw the very enthusiastic ologists off the scent, any more than I believe you could put cameras around an entire property of this size, that are controlled remotely when there is no evidence of a reliable connection or power source, to enable their proper and continued use.

If 'Get Out' was a lucky stumble with admittedly inspired casting, and 'Us' was a statement of intent borne from that lucky stumble, then 'Nope' is something similar, but leaning maybe into the intents of greater visionaries that have gone before, some long before. It starts with what you might expect from Peele, trolling his 'message' but then steps away with all suitable speed and convenience to do what he originally planned. His casting is nothing if not predictable, but because of this, you maybe wonder if the admirable trait of loyalty might not come back to bite him, even with the best intentions.

Suffice to say, Kaluuya is maybe not the best casting here, if only because he is as reined in as his horses here. I would rather see him express himself much, much more and the opportunity for him to display his many talents is limited in such a muted, haunting story.

Peele, because of his recent history comes with a certain amount of baggage that you have to look beyond to see the picture he is trying to show you, free from any of his back catalogue, which is not as simple as it first seems. You might be told that this is an alien invasion tale akin to Spielberg's 'Close Encounters', but it's actually closer to Shyamalan's 'Signs' in mood and tone. Being compared to Spielberg is high praise indeed, even if we're really honest, it's a good hike short of actuality.

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