A Review of Jordan Peele’s “Nope” (2022) [This review may contain spoilers]

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Movie Poster for “Nope” (2022)

Julia Alvarado, Reporter

“I will cast abominable filth upon you, make you vile, and make you a spectacle.”

 

Since Jordan Peele’s directorial debut in 2017 with the critically acclaimed thriller, “Get Out,” Peele has become known for making movies that are as scary as they are funny. He’s also become known for the prevalent social and political themes in his movies.

 

A common misconception is that the themes in Peele’s movies are solely focused on racism, when in truth, Peele has stated that only “Get Out” focused on racism and racial inequality. His other films, “Us” and “Nope” have no focus on race, but do focus on other social issues. “Us” takes a look at class inequality, oppression, and repression. “Nope” looks at the exploitation of animals and spectacle. That being said, movies and their themes are subjective. “Us” and “Nope” can certainly be looked at as movies having to do with race, but to insist this calls to mind the theme of another movie Peele has worked on, Nia DaCosta’s 2021 version of Candyman. Candyman is about race, but more specifically, it’s about the exploitation of black tragedies. To see a horror movie where the majority of the main cast is black and assume it must be about racism is a byproduct of this mindset. To assume the only use for black people is to discuss the terrible things that have happened to the black community is to dismiss everything good about that community. Vibrant cultures and subcultures, family traditions, accomplishments, simple everyday activities–all of that is covered up and forgotten when you reduce the black community to mere victims.

 

That being said– “Nope” is not a movie focused on race. “Nope” is about exploitation and the modern obsession with spectacle.

 

“Nope” follows two siblings living on a ranch in Agua Dulce, California, who discover an alien is abducting their horses. The simplified version sounds similar to a lot of other alien movies, but Peele’s spin on a familiar story is unique and wildly entertaining. The talented cast and Peele’s brilliant writing portrays a selection of truly delightful characters in a truly terrifying situation. Each character is distinct and memorable, and you find yourself rooting for them as they fight to solve a mystery, save the family business, and launch themselves into stardom with their strange visitor as a starting point. “Nope”’s memorable visuals and Michael Abels’ terrific soundtrack make the movie instantly iconic among fans of the genre, and Peele’s through line of bad miracles and exploitation proves he’s still eager to spark new and interesting social conversations with his films.

 

Though “Nope”’s themes and artistic cinematography might make the movie a bit dense for some, those familiar with and fond of Peele’s work will almost definitely enjoy his newest film. I personally rate it a solid 5/5 paws.