“No” Offers Another Close Encounter With Aliens

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BRUCE R. MILLER

Are there aliens hovering? That’s the big question that emerges early on in Jordan Peele’s new thriller, “No.”

Set in a desert amusement park, the film explores the idea of ​​extraterrestrial life and how it might appear on Earth.

A brother and sister who train horses at a nearby ranch notice strange behavior and wonder if it has anything to do with activity in a Wild West town run by a former child star (Steven Yeun). He recalls an experience when he was on a hit TV series. Could it just be a coincidence? Or do wild storms really bring strange objects down from the sky?

Peele keeps everyone off guard for much of the film. He uses these moments of exposition as a way to connect the two (played by Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer) to the early days of the film industry. It’s an interesting theory that has other people in it, including a tech nerd named Angel (Brandon Perea) and a veteran cinematographer (Michael Wincott). The four think they can prove there are aliens among us if they can just take a picture.

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But how, especially as cell service drops, the electricity goes out, and any logical means of recording is not possible?

All four offer possible solutions and many purchases from tech stores. When strange things keep happening, they consider timing, placement, and impact. Should they look up to the sky? Or trying to stay focused on the job at hand?

The first half of “No” gives a lot of answers. The second half allows you to see how they are put into play.

Peele puts his technical pros to good use and gives cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema a chance to paint some incredible images. Yet the signs are there.

Peele also gets some social pronouncements and makes us realize that our biggest enemies might be the unseen. “No” can have too many background sequences that seem to go nowhere. But on second viewing, they become the puzzle pieces you need to understand the mighty second half.

Kaluuya is always good (and he manages to pronounce the title at the right time); Palmer is a welcome addition to his representative company. But it is Perea who surprises. In some ways, he’s the answer man and also the one who might be the most vulnerable.

“No” makes assumptions about the siblings’ ancestry and argues for the start of the film industry. Film students, no doubt, will check the facts, giving film lessons something to debate.

Like “Jaws” and the original “Jurassic Park,” this doesn’t fit into the horror movie category. It has elements of intensity, but it’s not a low-budget way to scare audiences.

Even Steven Spielberg would have to admit that “No” is one of the best close encounters we’ve had with aliens. Peele’s suggestions make sense. Best of all, they thoroughly entertain.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Sunday, October 23, 2022

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