Jordan Peele’s much-anticipated third film has finally arrived in theaters. Nope is a genre-bending mix of sci-fi, Western, and horror with a healthy dose of social commentary (it is a Jordan Peele movie, after all).
So far, it’s opened number one at the box-office, sparked numerous think-pieces online, and garnered overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and audience members alike. Sounds great, right?
But now, we’ve got Logan Paul weighing in because apparently, we can’t have nice things.
Taking to Twitter, Logan Paul shared his thoughts about the movie in a scathing, and at times nonsensical, 13-tweet thread. The WWE star/YouTuber/controversy magnet started off by calling Nope “one of the worst movies I’ve seen in a long time.” (Perhaps he’s never seen After Earth or, I don’t know, anything by Michael Bay.)
He went on to call Nope “objectively slow and confusing with stretched themes that don’t justify the pace” before writing “it’s not hard to conceptualize something disturbing…. it IS hard to sensibly tie it to the plot” and then launching into a series of spoiler-heavy questions about various aspects of the movie.
Reactions to his Twitter tirade have been pretty derisive, with many pointing out the irony of Logan Paul criticizing and misunderstanding a film about spectacle and fame-seeking culture.
In case you don’t keep up with pro-wrestling or YouTube personalities, Logan Paul is known for being… kind of a tool. Remember, in 2017 he shared a video of a dead body he came across in Japan’s “suicide forest,” apologized for it, and then a few weeks later filmed himself tasering a dead rat. A year later, he faced backlash again when he declared he would “go gay” for a month as some sort of social experiment.
But this is the same guy who was once quoted saying, “I want to be the biggest entertainer in the world… I’ll do whatever it takes to get that.”
Which brings us back to his review of Nope.
(Some spoilers below)
Nope centers around OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald (Keke Palmer) Haywood, a brother-and-sister duo who own a horse ranch in California. They make a living providing their horses to film and TV studios and working as on-set handlers.
After the untimely death of their father, they’re facing financial hardship. To keep things afloat, OJ has been selling some of their horses to Ricky “Jupe” (Steven Yeun), the owner of a neighboring Old West-themed amusement park.
So, when they notice an other-worldly phenomenon plaguing their ranch, they decide to try and use it as a way to solve their money problems. They team up with local tech and UFO aficionado, Angel (Brandon Perea) and acclaimed cinematographer Antlers Holst (Michael Wincott) to capture what they refer to as “the Oprah shot”—undeniable proof of aliens.
It’s a pretty straightforward plot and, while parts of the film are slow, it’s certainly not confusing or unclear. On the contrary, I think it’s pretty damn obvious what Jordan Peele was trying to say.
One of Logan Paul’s critiques was that the Gordy’s Home incident wasn’t “sensibly tied” to the storyline, which isn’t true, but might explain why he found the whole thing so confusing. Arguably, that side-plot was the single most important (and terrifying) part of the movie.
Gordy’s Home was a short-lived 90s sitcom that Jupe starred in as a child. The show, about a family and their pet chimp, Gordy, was canceled after a brutal, on-set attack wherein one of the chimps viciously mauled several cast members. Jupe managed to survive unharmed, and now profits from it via a morbid, hidden museum filled with memorabilia from the day. But the event also left him with unprocessed emotional trauma.
The Gordy’s Home incident is a direct parallel to the events that happen later in the movie. It’s also a driving factor for the plot. Jupe was able to survive the chimp attack, but his career in Hollywood ended. Since then, he has been trying to get back into the spotlight and he sees the UFO as the way to do that. Jupe wants to create a spectacle. And because of his childhood experience, he believes he has the ability to control the uncontrollable.
But Jupe isn’t painted as the bad guy. He’s seeking the spectacle, but so is everyone else. Their motives may differ—OJ wants to take care of the ranch, Emerald wants to secure the family’s place in Hollywood, Angel wants to expose the truth to the world, and Antlers wants to create his artistic vision—but it doesn’t matter.
The UFO, a metaphor for fame, doesn’t care about them—the very act of chasing it, regardless of the outcome, is destructive.
So, yes, there is something undeniably ironic about Logan Paul’s critique. There’s also something almost poignant about it. He, like Jupe, seems to lack introspection. But, by mocking him for it, aren’t we just as bad? Like the unwitting spectators at Jupe’s show, we are all going along for the ride, ready and willing to gawk at the spectacle.