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NOPE review

by Victoria Alexander

Kaluuya is clinically depressed and his sister is annoying. Peele fails to bring to the UFO genre a satisfying story. A ridiculous ending.

Otis Jr. (Daniel Kaluuya) is a sad mope. Why? His father, Otis Sr. (Keith David) owns Haywood Hollywood Horses. It’s a generational family business with a vast ranch housing and training multiple horses. Otis Jr., called OJ, watches as a sudden strange sandstorm rains down pieces of household items. Several pieces hit Otis Sr. and he dies later at the hospital.

Without Otis Sr. to handle a horse-wrangling job on a Hollywood set, Otis Jr. must rely on his late-arriving sister, Emerald (Keke Palmer), who has a very commanding, self-aggrandizing personality that overshadows her depressed brother. She makes friends immediately on the set, trying to network with Holst (Michael Wincott), a very strange man who is a key person on the production. Emerald thinks she has made a connection with Holst that can help with one of her multi-careers. Maybe Emerald is hypnotized by his thousand-yard stare and Barry White baritone.

OJ was miserable before his father died and after is a walking ghost with a speech pattern that was very hard to hear. Though, OJ never has much to say. Emerald hardly notices her father has died. She takes life and death in stride while playing records, dancing, drinking brandy and looking out the window.

A strange swirling thing is showing up slipping in and out from behind a cloud. This cloud has not moved in weeks! OJ and Emerald are sure that all they have to do is set up cameras, get the thing on film and they will get on a couch with Oprah. So they go to Fry's Electronics and ask salesman Angel (Brandon Perea) to help. Angel immediately goes to the ranch with his very own van of surveillance equipment.

Angel sets up elaborate cameras. He starts coming to the ranch uninvited and monitors the cameras. He becomes the third witness. Then Holst comes with his hand-winding cameras and an unexplained unique approach to the UFO.

Near the ranch is a no-rides amusement park with a large field with bleacher stands for “acts” starring owner Jupe (Steven Yuen) and his family. Jupe has been observing the strange thing and has timed it. He promises his gathered crowd a life changing experience. For some reason, Jupe has a horse in a glass container. Horses must have something linking them to the UFO.

Jupe has a promising story that has more horror than the UFO shaped thing that has an opening like a mouth. As a kid he was an actor on a comedy show that had a family member who was a chimp. At one filming, the chimp (Gordy) goes nuts. Now Jupe has a private memorial room with artifacts of that last day on the set.

Steve Yeun as former child actor Ricky 'Jupe' Park

In 1994, The Bigelow Foundation funded my THE ALEXANDER UFO RELIGIOUS CRISIS SURVEY. I have written many articles for UFO journals but left the field when alien abductions started to devolve into a competitive one-upmanship game. One woman had a hybrid child, the next year another woman had 6, and it seemed too many speakers at UFO Conferences were bragging about sex with the captain of the spacecraft. The Behavior Panel on YouTube recently analyzed the body language and facial expressions of a British woman who said she had several children with an alien. They live on another planet.

In May-June I attended a specially-invited closed group of nineteen participants that met for several days at The Monroe Institute to call down UFO directed ORBS. When on evening two someone suggested singing “Happy Birthday” and then “Row, Row Row Your Boat” to encourage an Orb to come down, I fled to my room. For me, the nightly waving at the many satellites crowding the sky along with the airplanes, left me discouraged. We had such good intentions and a good intended methodology.

Writer-director Jordan Peele has a lot of good will. Remember when in 1999 M. Night Shyamalan’s THE SIXTH SENSE made him the golden charm of Hollywood? Then he started to make a slew of bad movies. His people must have told him to get projects in development before he loses his “The Next Big Thing” title. Shyamalan had quite a few disastrous years and could not replicate THE SIXTH SENSE twist.

I loved Peele’s GET OUT and US. There is no twist here. Peele fails to deliver an interesting story. His favored actor, Kaluuya, keeps his baseball hat on and does not give his OJ a personality we can relate to. OJ is highly responsible feeding the horses but he doesn’t love them. He gets no joy from them, his sister, his ranch, profession, or anything.

What Peele introduced but could not execute was the UFO theory (from the 1990s) that the aliens were using their craft to cause catastrophic events to suck up human souls. Why else would there be plane crashes and tsunamis? Maybe they are really behind wars! When Peele’s craft opens its window, it takes up people and uses a mechanical device to kill them. The screams can be heard on Earth. If OJ, Emerald, Angel, or Holst heard the cries of suffering, they disregarded the screams as a sign of what was to come if they stayed on the ranch.

If it’s not for grinding human bodies for food, it is for swallowing up human souls.

Could this be the reason for the Black Plague and COVID?

This plot would be a rather terrifying UFO plan explaining all the disasters that happen on Earth. And piloting the spacecraft would be Gordy the chimp. He is getting even with humans for his species.

For a complete list of Victoria Alexander's movie reviews

on Rotten Tomatoes go to: Member of Las Vegas Film Critics Society


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