After “Get Out” and “Wir”, Jordan Peele presents his third film, “Nope”, which combines horror and science fiction with social criticism. He himself did not appear at the premiere in Berlin, but his leading actors did. About a spectacular and confusing blockbuster.

Actor and comedian Jordan Peele has made a name for himself directing intelligent horror-thrillers with his Oscar-winning 2017 Get Out and two years later We. With “Nope” he is now continuing this journey with a cinematic work that should cause some confusion at many points. According to assumptions by fans in relevant forums, the title does not (only) stand for a casual no in English, which is actually used more often in the film, but also for “Not of Planet Earth” and thus for extraterrestrials. Starring Daniel Kaluuya, who has also received multiple awards and with whom Peele previously worked on “Get Out”, and Keke Palmer, most recently in the drama “Alice”.

Siblings OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald Haywood (Keke Palmer) live in the arid and sprawling Santa Clarita Valley just outside Los Angeles. On their remote ranch, which they inherited from their father, they train horses for the Hollywood dream factory. Otis Haywood Sr. (Keith David) died in a mysterious event that caused metal pieces to rain down from the sky, one of which fatally injured him.

Business isn’t going as well as the two had hoped, so selling the animals to the nearby Jupiter’s Claim amusement park is under discussion. The place of entertainment, which attracts onlookers to the otherwise rather desolate area every day, is run by former child star Ricky “Jupe” Park (Steven Yeun), who is trying to process a traumatic experience from his own time in Hollywood at the same time.

Shortly after their father’s tragic and mysterious death, OJ and Emerald witness more unexplained phenomena, including eerie noises, power outages and sudden weather changes. When OJ finally thinks they spot a UFO over the farm, the siblings scramble to capture the phenomenon on film, with the help of electronics store clerk Angel Torres (Brandon Perea) and director Antlers Holst (Michael Wincott).

While Peele dealt with the subject of racism in his first two works, the social criticism in “Nope” is less striking, but still present. It is more important to the siblings and their comrades-in-arms to record the events for posterity in order to be able to prove them than to save their own butts.

“I find it terrible that people are often not in the here and now. You don’t have to document everything and share it with the public. That’s unfortunately something that this society has developed into. Now it is like this and we have to deal with it “Said Daniel Kaluuya in an interview with His colleague Keke Palmer agrees: “It’s all about balance. But at the moment you feel like it’s a bit out of balance. It’s nice to be able to share things with others. But in other places it becomes too much, then we have to take a step back. Because some things should be private, just for yourself.”

The two main actors also believe in extraterrestrials without having seen any evidence of this. However, they do not dare to assess whether they have good or bad intentions when heading for Earth. Nor whether they might have the know-how to save the earth from collapsing shortly before. “I don’t really care,” Kaluuya says, laughing. “Maybe they have their own climate crisis and other issues to deal with.”

In any case, it was immediately clear to him that he would be involved in this film because he enjoys working with Jordan Peele. “I also liked the relationship between the siblings, and in such a blockbuster,” continued the 33-year-old. Keke Palmer adds, “I felt the same way. It all felt so familiar and yet so innovative to me. I love the love Peele has for the film and how he makes everything feel new.”

A bond developed between Kaluuya and Palmer that survived the shooting. “I really think we have a special connection and Jordan felt that, so I think that’s why he cast us in the roles,” summarizes Palmer. And Kaluuya adds jokingly: “I’m still trying to break away from her.”

Jordan Peele remains true to himself in his way of storytelling. While things develop very slowly at first and he takes his time with the exposition, the events overturn in the second half of the 130-minute strip.

In the US, “Nope” went straight to number one in the cinema charts, and the reviews there were all more than favorable. And Peele’s third work is certainly a good blockbuster, which is particularly convincing in terms of picture and sound on the big screen. On the other hand, the story, which is reminiscent of old Alien films from the 1950s, weakens a bit. If the resolutions of “Get Out” and “Wir” were too clumsy and one-dimensional for you, you should stumble over this point with “Nope”.

“Nope” will be in German cinemas from August 11th.