Nope ★★★½

Trained animals can be unpredictable.

Mankind can be arrogant animals. We spend so much time claiming dominion over the world through an electronic interface, that we are rarely humbled by the it. Ultimately, there are people who will dress a chimp up and poke and prod it, and others who know better. The ones who play by the animal's rules... they say "nope".

When Nope taps into that subject matter, it is completely and utterly engrossing. Spectacle gets stripped away, and it becomes animal versus animal. Pure brutality. Peele offers up the most bloody and bone chilling sequences of his career here.

It's all a bit compromised by a third act that signals Peele didn't have as tight a grip on the themes as I thought he did. There is whacky fun to be had, sure, but it really betrays its central message in a way that confounded me. Plus, it goes on wayyy too long. Peele is obviously an extremely creative talent, and loves to swing for the fences. While I still prefer the similarly sloppy Us, I had a fun time with Nope. I look forward to what's next for Peele. The pieces are all there, he just needs to fit them into place a little tighter. If he manages that, the next one will be a classic.

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