3.5/10 Writer/director Jordan Peele continues to prove how overrated he is. Upon rewatching his first two movies, “Get Out” remains his best even though it was good, not great. “Us” disappointed despite some solid aspects and now we have “Nope”, which sees Peele hitting his biggest career low since he co-starred in “Keanu”. Much of the blind praise that falls upon Peele is that his movies contain social commentary, as if just merely containing social commentary makes his movies great. You have to look at what the social commentary is to see if it even warrants praise. “Get Out” had his best social commentary, which was multi-layed, even though the film does contain some anti-whiteism. “Get Out” has white characters pandering to blacks (“I would have voted for Obama for a third term if I could”) which reminded me of the famous Malcolm X quote, “The white liberal is the worst enemy to America and the worst enemy to the black man.” “Us” had social commentary but it wasn’t as powerful and was mostly covered up by all of the problems with the story/plot. We get the weakest of social commentary with “Nope” which is a meta commentary on spectacle in Hollywood, how we can’t look away from disasters (rubbernecking), and how Hollywood sucks people up and then spits them out/discards them. I recently reviewed “Under the Silver Lake” which also commented on Hollywood using and abusing people (particularly women) only to discard them once they are done, but that film was light years ahead of this incohesive mess. As for what did work, “Nope”, like Peele’s first two directorial efforts, is extremely well made and acted. The cast is great, despite problems with certain characters (more on that later) and the visuals look phenomenal. Regular Peele composer Michael Abels returns and while his score isn’t as strong as their first two collaborations, he certainly gets the job done. Peele teams with cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema for the first time, who has been Christopher Nolan’s cinematographer since “Interstellar”. Hoytema provides some fantastic cinematography and lighting, while actually knowing how to shoot scenes at night while still letting the audience see what is going on, unlike the epic night battle in the final season of “Game of Thrones” where no one could see what was happening. The sound editing and mixing were great, all adding up to making this movie a technical marvel. However, no matter how great a movie looks and sounds, it comes down to the script and what the movie has to say. Peele seems more intent upon forcing in a bunch of Biblical imagery and stating social commentary that doesn’t have much to say or says something the audience already knows. The pacing is slow, especially in the first half so this movie that almost hits two and a half hours really feels its running time. While Oscar winner Daniel Kaluuya (OJ Haywood) gives a solid performance despite the script not letting him show a wide range of emotion, a problem comes with Keke Palmer as his sister, Emerald. While her performance is strong, she plays such a grating, annoying character that it felt like a chore to spend time with her and I kept hoping the movie would cut to any other character but her. The movie has so many questions that remain unanswered, elements/ideas that are introduced but never even remotely explained, nonsensical aspects, etc. One character essentially commits suicide for no reason at all. To top it all off, the grand finale sees the movie’s alien brought down in an extremely dumb and anti-climactic way. The movie is full of product placement ranging from multiple beer brands to Rice Krispies to meta product placement like “The Scorpion King” (another Universal Pictures movie) and Panavision/IMAX (this was filmed with IMAX cameras). Whereas “Get Out” and “Us” both had some decent comedic elements to balance out the serious horror, there is no comedic relief to be found in this overserious horror movie that isn’t remotely scary. Despite “critics” on Rotten Opinions blindly praising Peele for politically correct reasons, this ends up being a huge disappointment and waste of time. When anyone asks me if they should go pay their hard earned money to go see this movie, the obvious answer is…NOPE.

#DontLookUp2 / #JupitersClaimAscending / #GoesDownLikeALeadBalloon / #BloodAndGoredy / #MayTheHorseBeWithYou / #CloudingTheIssues

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