Nope ★★★½

Get Out and Us. Very few filmmakers have delivered a one-two punch quite as powerfully as Jordan Peele. In fact, very few films have embedded themselves into contemporary culture with the same piercing clarity. The comedian turned director has now traded in those intensely claustrophobic deconstructions for something much more expansive, akin to Steven Spielberg or even John Ford.   

Of course, Nope has much more on its mind than that brisk set up would suggest, and is certainly more ambitious with its increased sense of hypnotic spectacle. That’s not to say Peele has lost his lustre for pulsating suspense. The director’s third outing delivers moments of stunning tension, showing a canny restraint in how he chooses to display his uniquely designed extra-terrestrial.

Despite this, my reaction to the film is flavoured with a touch of ambivalence. While Get Out was thematically rich but elegantly simple in its construction, Nope feels a tad cumbersome, chock-full of ideas with an absence of narrative focus. As a result, the piece lacks the visceral immediacy of the director’s landmark debut.

Still, Peele has become a bastion of original storytelling within a creatively redundant Hollywood. His ability to operate in this system but maintain his artistic integrity deserves endless admiration.

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