Nope is a 2022 movie that was directed and written by Jordan Peele. The movie starts out with a scene from a sitcom called Gordy’s Home, which ends in the chimpanzee animal actor being triggered by a balloon popping on set, and attacking everyone, until he’s shot dead by the authorities. After that, the movie follows Otis “OJ” Haywood Jr. and Emerald “Em” Haywood as they deal with the sudden death of their father, and try to maintain the family business of training and handling horses for film productions. Their father dies when a random nickel falls from the sky and impales him in the eye. OJ is trying his best to keep the family business going, but isn’t having much success. OJ and Em are on set filming a commercial when their horse Lucky is started and becomes aggressive, which leads to OJ and Em being fired. Since money is running out OJ decides to start selling his horses to Ricky “Jupe” Park. Jupe was one of the actors on the set of Gordy’s Home when everything happened and now runs a small theme park where he exploits the Gordy’s Home tragedy for money. As the movie progresses we see OJ and Em trying to catch a UFO. They notice that their horses have moments where they freak out and disappear and their home’s electricity goes all out of whack, but they can’t figure out why. They get cameras for the home and they notice that there’s one cloud that stays in the sky, but never moves. They then make it their mission to get a picture of the UFO. While getting their plan together, we find out that Jupe has been feeding this UFO/Alien the horses he bought off of OJ. While trying to feed Lucky to the UFO/Alien in front of a large crowd, the UFO/Alien turns on him, and kills him and the audience. He was trying to make a spectacle of something that was wild that he felt he had control over and it backfired on him. Which is very reminiscent of what happened with Gordy’s Home. The chimpanzee was a wild animal and once something triggered it, it went ballistic.
OJ is aware of what happened with Jupe and the audience, yet he still tries to get close enough to the UFO/Alien, to get a picture, so he can sell it. OJ and Em are able to recruit a famous cinematographer they met at the commercial shoot they got fired from. They come up with a plan to lure the UFO/Alien out, without being killed. Just like Jupe, they fall victim to this idea that they can somehow control the UFO/Alien, and exploit it. They set their plan in motion, using a hand-cranked film camera, so they don’t have to worry about the creature messing up the camera’s ability to record video, and they use tube men, that way they can figure out where the creature is in the sky. Since the creature is able to mess with electricity, when the tube men fall down, that indicates to everyone where it is. The plan doesn’t go the way they expected because a random TMZ reporter comes in trying to record everything on his motorcycle. His motorcycle stops working when he gets too close to the creature and he dies. Before he is devoured by the creature he’s begging for OJ to film the entire thing. Holst is able to get footage of the creature, but he’s obsessed with getting the impossible shot that he devoured with his camera, losing all the footage. OJ and Em still want to get the shot, so they lure the creature to Jupe’s theme park, where there’s an analog camera. In the end, they’re able to get the picture, and also kill the creature.
Exploitation is seen throughout the film. Right at the beginning with Gordy’s Home and the chimpanzee going ballistic, Jupe creating an amusement park profiting off the the tragedy, Jude trying to use the creature as a spectacle for his audience, OJ and Em trying to get video of the creature, the TMZ guy trying to get a video, etc. People are so willing to put themselves in dangerous situations, out of hope that they can gain something from it. Usually they are putting themselves in proximity to something that can easily fight back, but they have this idea that they can somehow control something that’s wild. Due to the disregard of how dangerous these creatures were, the chimpanzee and the UFO/Alien, multiple people lost their lives. It brings into question why humans are so willing to risk their lives for fame/notoriety and why humans believe they can control the wild. The film is able to show how human greed and the willingness to exploit dangerous things will ultimately never have the outcome we expect.
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