Perhaps the most important quality of a great director is the signature, that personal vision that gives the film something of its own, we all know what a Hitchcock, Almodóvar, Tarantino or Wes Anderson film looks like, they are directors with totally recognizable signatures. Well, Jordan Peele has one of his own, as is well proven by Nope, his third work after Get Out and Us, demonstrating that despite his irregularities we are in the presence of a totally fascinating director.
Nope may be his most commercial film, but that said without any hint of contempt, there are still elements of horror, as in his two previous works, but now the budget is much bigger and it is more towards science-fiction than psychological horror. Its most obvious reference is the films of Steven Spielberg, another signature director, this film being something like a mixture of Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Jaws, with a little bit of Leone‘s western thrown into the mix.
It is, as I said, the film with the best chance of reaching a wider audience, although the liberties Peele continues to take with the verisimilitude of his plots will alienate many viewers. This director is less concerned with realism than with trapping the viewer in his personal world. If you let yourself get caught up in it, the two hours of Nope will pass in a flash.
It is, however, the least terrifying and the least social of his films. If in Get Out he gave a master class on the racism anchored in American society and in the more irregular, but equally fascinating, in Us he offered a fresco on the social inequalities in his country, now he focuses on something else, on the vampiric power of images, as if he shared an idea with Iván Zulueta‘s Arrebato.
The film is full of fascinating images from which it is difficult to look away, and the gaze is another of the themes of this film in which Peele speaks of the camera as a predator, as if it were a wild animal that is impossible to tame, something that has to be achieved by the creator of these images, in this case the director himself, who makes clear his responsibility for them, leaving his signature on them from the first frame to the last one that appears in this Nope
In short, this is an ingenious and strange science fiction thriller, in which Peele’s humour and suspense once again combine to perfection, achieving an auteur blockbuster that, despite its originality, may be too much of an auteur for those who want to disconnect with a blockbuster and too much of a blockbuster for those who want to enjoy an auteur film.