Dir: Jordan Peele
Written By: Jordan Peele
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya; Keke Palmer; Brandon Perea; Michael Wincott
Music By: Michael Abels
Budget: $70 Million
So this movie is set in a place called Agua Dolce, which means, Sweet Water, but I don’t think that has any bearing on the movie. Agua Dolce is about 50 miles north of Los Angeles, and is compromised mostly of wide open spaces, and ranches.
On one of these horse ranches are horse wranglers that work in the movie business supplying horses for commercials and films and what not. OJ and his sister Em live and work for Haywood Hills Horses. A company that has been in their family for generations.
This movie is about them and for good kicks, Jordan Peele threw in a guy named Angel Torres who works at a retail electronics store. A tech support guy that we all have had to deal with many times.
So Jordan Peele doesn’t write like the rest of us, he doesn’t think like the rest of us and his ideas for movies are quite unique. Much in the same way you don’t know where Tarantino is going to go in his movies, you really have no idea where Peele is going to go either. And Peele has some dark spaces in his mind. Coming from a comic background, his job was to think of things so far out there, it would catch us off guard – well that is what he does again, here.
First we think this movie is going to be about the film industry, then about the family coming into their own, and then about aliens and then about a monkey, and then again about something else. (Yes I said monkey) Jordan keeps giving us these breadcrumbs that we follow throughout the movie, giving us no clue about what is coming up from behind the bend.
You do not get bored in a Jordan Peele film unless you’ve seen it before, but one thing is for sure – if you go and watch a Jordan Peele for the first time, you know your mind will be turning every second and your heart will skip a beat here and there. The man is good and what he does, and I have no qualms about his talent or this film.
Walking out of the theater I heard quite a few couples say, “oh so it was just a blank-blank” (I can’t give it away) and they were like, “yea, it was” But it was how he got to that, and the ride he took us on to get there that was the fun part. I enjoyed it. Not once did I check my phone, or look around or get distracted from the screen.
The budget was kept low at around $70 million, and I’m glad because this looks like it will make money. Opening weekend looks to be $44 million, which is good. Taratino’s “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” had Brad Pitt and DiCaprio and opened at $ 41 million. The film’s financial path is also parallel to M Night Shyamalan’s The Village.
NOPE has no big names, like a Brad Pitt, but it’s the story, the writing and the genre that gets us all excited. Jordan has a very confident hand now, and I think his movies will only get better and better.
His style is becoming a lot like M Night Shyamalan, where you know he is holding something back for later on, not for a twist at the end, but something definitely weird for the third act. Jordan also builds his brand slowly and methodically, giving clues and hints along the way. Speaking of third acts, the music and the use of it here is tremendous. Michael has done all of Peele’s films so far and also is the co-founder of the Composer’s Diversity Collective, an advocacy group to increase visibility of composers of color in film. These two are getting on the same page and their work together is growing stronger and becoming something magnificent.