Tune in for My Hot Takes and an Alternate Ending
I finally got around to seeing Jordan Peele's "Nope," over the weekend, and I almost loved it. Controversially, it was my favorite Jordan Peele flick so far (sorry, "Get Out").
I also hated the ending.
In my humble opinion, the entire third act of the film was unnecessary and redundant. Peele made a perfect alien movie, then he ruined it by trying to shove the theme of spectacle down our throats with, you guessed it, a giant spectacle.
Why the Film Was Perfect
Before I pitch you an alternate ending, let me tell you what I liked about the movie.
The animal horror was excellent. Horses are creepy; don't @ me. Also, the Gordy (sitcom chimp) scenes were primal and terrifying -- and they explained Jupe's character perfectly.
All this foreshadowing and character development led right up to the twist and climactic scene that should have been the end of the movie.
Plus, everything was suspenseful and creepy, just like an alien movie should be. There was a great sense of impending doom, characters acted like real people, and the "nope" moments were laugh-out-loud hilarious.
I, too, would probably say, "nope," and exit stage left if I came face-to-face with some aliens.
What I Would Have Done Differently (Spoilers Ahead)
"Nope" ends with a giant, dangerous alien-documenting/ alien-fighting spectacle, but it should have ended much sooner.
If I were making the movie, I would have cut at OJ, Em, and Angel's triumphant escape from Jean Jacket. Right there, a title card -- "Nope." Perfect.
This decision might have been jarring for audiences (my mom said she would have been disappointed), but it would have stayed true to the title of the movie.
Our characters are smarter than your average horror movie characters. They do say "nope."
Of course, we don't want to leave the audience disappointed, and we do want to hit home our themes of spectacle and exploitation.
So, I would have not only cut it there but also added a button.
In the button, OJ and Em can get their clout by speaking to the media and cautioning them away from Jean Jacket and the ranch. Even if they look like crazy people, all press is good press, right?
Then, we can have TMZ (I did love the TMZ dig during the ending) or another news source fail to heed OJ and Em's warnings and go out to the ranch, only to get eaten by Jean Jacket.
Think of it, a film reel covered in blood draped over the abandoned farm house. A perfect end to the movie; a big fuck you to the film industry. Chef's kiss.
Also, isn't it much scarier to have a flesh-eating alien disguised as a cloud just chillin' in some ranch land in rural California than to watch it get photographed and bested by a balloon?
I think so.
Hot Take #2: Everyone Needs Some Reeling In
Ultimately, I think the problem with "Nope" is a problem with all successful directors. Once they reach a certain level, no one wants to tell them no. This isn't just shade at Jordan Peele; I think Christopher Nolan's latest films have been straight up self-indulgent to the point of cinematic masturbation.
Sometimes, a well-placed "no," is the best thing an artist can hear, especially when they are at or nearing the peak of their filmmaking careers, which Peele clearly is.
Constructive criticism really does make projects better! And no team should know this better than the one that made a movie called, "Nope!"
I'm so frustrated with them for not doing better, especially when they were so so close to a perfect film.
Still, this is not the first time I've had to cut the final scene of a movie from my brain to enjoy the perfection of the rest of it (looking at you, Ari Aster, and that final scene of "Hereditary"), so I suppose I'll live.
Let me know what you thought of "Nope," by filling out the contact form at the bottom of my home page 0r sending me an email at loganrosereadsandwrites at gmail dot com. You can also subscribe for similar content on my blog!
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