|Running time:||131 minutes|
|Release date:||22 july 2022|
Jordan Peele is certainly one of those screenwriters-directors whose new films we look forward to with equal impatience. After flirting with horrific cinema with his first two films Get Out (2017) and Us (2019), his new film stands out as a science fiction film that does not seek at any time to blow your mind with omnipresent spectacular special effects but rather to follow the same direction as Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). More precisely, to revisit the films staging the confrontation between humans and extraterrestrials whose dark intentions are no longer to be proven and how their presence affects in a considerable way the lives of humans whose survival becomes the main issue.
In the same way, the director and writer Jordan Peele seems to draw his inspiration from another Steven Spielberg film by his way of transforming a space saucer into a space predator like the shark was for the sea in the timeless classic Jaws (1975). One could also see in the scenario an inspiration from the cult series Twilight Zone, of which we know the director is a fan since he revisited this series during two seasons on the CBS All Access network. However, it would be too simplistic to put Nope in boxes as Jordan Peele's ingenious script also deals with the glamorous backstage of the movie industry and also with new technologies
OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald Haywood (Keke Palmer) are two siblings who, after their father's accidental death, try to keep their horse ranch in California and make a decent living. However, after an accident on a movie set involving one of their horses, they are confronted with supernatural events, including a hidden presence in a huge cloud in the sky. Meanwhile, their neighbor, a Wild West theme park owner, is trying to come to terms with a dramatic event from his past when he was a young actor in a sitcom in which a monkey caused the death of two people. He tries to take advantage of this alien presence to create a popular show involving the abduction of horses by it.
Constructed like a real puzzle in which events from the past seem to have strong effects on the present, Nope shows once again how Jordan Peele is a gifted storyteller who succeeds in each of his films to revisit a genre in its own right and to play with the rules it obeys. Nope is not only a film about the place of the individual in society, about belief and deep trauma, it is also a story about the evils of the Hollywood system and the quest for fame at all costs, even if it means losing one's life. Once again, the director returns to the place of African-American minorities in current American society and reunites with actor Daniel Kaluuya after Get Out.
Far from taking the easy way out and delivering a simple old-fashioned sci-fi movie, Nope is perfectly in tune with the times and shows us the fragility of our lives and the fact that we are often confronted with difficult situations in which force is not necessarily the solution, it is often our intelligence and the way we use it that is the most effective solution to carry out our mission. Mission accomplished once again for Jordan Peele who confirms once again that he is as good a writer as he is a director.
Written and directed by Jordan Peele
Produced by Jordan Peele, Ian Cooper
Starring Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun, Michael Wincott, Brandon Perea, Wrenn Schmidt, Barbie Ferreira, Keith David
Cinematography : Hoyte van Hoytema
Edited by Nicholas Monsour
Music by Michael Abels
Production companies : Universal Pictures, Monkeypaw Productions
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates : July 18, 2022 (Los Angeles), July 22, 2022 (United States) August 10, 2022 (France)
Running time ;131 minutes
Seen on July 30, 2022 at Grauman's Chinese Theatre (Los Angeles) in Imax