Everyman Bristol
We are halfway through Nope before we find out what kind of a movie we are watching. So it would probably be a little cruel to say too much about it: which is just as well, because I find I don't have too much to say. 

A guy (Daniel Kaluuya) and his sister (Keke Palmer ) hire out horses to film crews. A Thing happens on their ranch. A guy who used to be a child star (Steven Yeun) runs a them park near by. A Thing brought his career to an end in the pre-cred sequence; the two Things are, I suppose, thematically connected. He tries to turn the Thing into a tourist attraction. They hire a conspiracy minded geek (Brandon Perea) to help them secure their home against the Thing, and later, bring in a slightly nutty Thing expert (Michael Wincott). 

The more we find out about the Thing, the less interesting it gets, and we end up watching something not that unlike a standard-issue action flick. The characters are engaging, but not very engaging. I didn't not enjoy it, but I spent a considerable amount of Act 3 wondering what the point was going to turn out to be: I don't think there was one. 

 You may remember the pageant in the first season of Black Adder in which the Jumping Jews of Jerusalem perform in front of the King on St Leonard's Day. "It went quite well" say the leading man, after doing some rather half hearted jumps, "But I don't really think they understood it." That was very much how I felt about this film.


Thomas said...

I think the Thing in its final form is much more interesting than the Thing when we first catch a glimpse of it, when it resembles a rather bog-standard Other Thing. I also think the film's themes are more interesting than its story, which is a bit frustrating since I don't feel I get a good grip on those themes. But there certainly is a current about seeing and being seen, self-presentation and twisting painful facts into a different narrative to please an audience.

Clarrie said...

Slightly surprised to hear you didn't enjoy it more, TBH.

I really liked it; partly because I felt there were quite a few chewy themes (one of the ways I felt mainstream reviewers got distracted was with a pre-occupation with making it be About One Thing. I think it was About (plot deleted) and playing with a lot of themes in the space around that in a manner that felt messy in a way that reflected the messiness of real life rather than muddled) but also because to me it felt like watching a C20 SF/Weird Fiction prose story in a way that's quite rare in films.

V. glad I saw it at the pictures too as it's gorgeous.

(on reading back this is garbled and incoherent - I'll have to shout a more detailed version with booze and swears at you across a table in person soon).