Keke Palmer and Daniel Kaluuya shiver in Nope

Keke Palmer makes Nope worth saying yes and Fire Of Love is a sight to behold

Courtesy of Universal Pictures


(Jordan Peele)

The Get Out and Us director’s latest body-stealing tale can sometimes feel like a love child between M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs and Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. It’s still better than that.

Nope is a mysterious comedy thriller about a flying saucer hovering over a ranch where horses are trained to be in movies. It’s steeped in Hollywood history and ephemera, and as you’d expect, it becomes a movie about making movies.

As usual with Peele, there’s a lot to unpack, with symbols and allegories nodding towards the business of showmanship: disputing the unbelievable and the tragic for our entertainment or our curiosity. These ideas sometimes drag the narrative into wonky territory in a way that reminds me of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. No, everything may not be in place, but its internal showdown is fascinating.

And it’s damn entertaining and impressive, taking enough advantage of Peele’s wit and craft, the majestic views (shot in IMAX) of Interstellar cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema, and the incredibly charismatic Keke Palmer paired with Daniel Kaluuya, who once again gives his manager a tight-toothed magnetic performance. 131 minutes. Now playing in theaters everywhere. NNNN

Fire Of Love is covered in this week's movie reviews alongside Nope with Keke Palmer
Credit: Image’Est

fire of love

(Sara Dosa)

This is a spellbinding nature documentary that takes you on a lovely central love story. Fire Of Love is ostensibly about Katia and Maurice Krafft, a French couple who wear Where’s Waldo? hats while devoting their lives to the study of volcanoes – until they were killed in 1991. The fact that they died capturing the kind of beauty we see on screen adds a sickening layer and convincing here. Honestly, it’s not like the pictures need it for their personality. Images of walls of fire collapsing with the force of Niagara Falls or exploding into rocks underwater are reason enough to witness Fire Of Love. Sometimes it feels like we’re watching evolution in a hurry; to others, it’s like watching the apocalypse. 93 mins. Now playing at TIFF Bell Lightbox. NNN

Ryan Gosling in The Gray Man
Stanislav Honzik/Netflix

The gray man

(Anthony Russo and Joe Russo)

Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans face off in Bourne For Dummies, aka The Gray Man.

Gosling is Sierra Six, a US government phantom squad killer with a traumatic backstory that unfolds when the movie needs some pacing between extremely loud and obnoxious action scenes. You know the lay of the land. Six becomes a target after discovering highly sensitive information. The government unit that wants these secrets buried hires Chris Evans’ Lloyd, a smug entrepreneur who colors outside the lines – he tortures for fun, kidnaps children and reduces block and block of European real estate to rubble. The Russo Brothers clearly saw Evans’ terrific performance as the asshole in Knives Out and thought they could do better by putting a porn mustache on their Captain America star. They also nabbed Knives Out star Ana de Armas, casting her as a conflicted assassin.

By now the Russo brand should be familiar. They enjoyed absurd success in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, making Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame (the second highest-grossing film of all time). They make cameos in The Gray Man, confident fans will recognize the joke when they see Anthony Russo strapped to a chair with electric cables tied to his teeth, playing the former’s first on-screen torture victim. Captain America.

Their first MCU entry, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, was also arguably Marvel Studio’s best. Like The Gray Man, it borrowed liberally from Bourne films and its influences like Three Days Of The Condor. Watching the Russos return to similar ground without the expensive costumes and logos, I can’t help but think Winter Soldier was a fluke. This movie had slick action sequences and an involving camaraderie between Evans’ Cap and Scarlett Johannson’s Black Widow. Something like that would be drowned out by the cliches and bombshell in The Gray Man. The film has a high-caliber cast (including Indian star Dhanush as a Tamil assassin) who only have room to give intense stares between the most predictive text dialogue.

The $200+ million budget provides a level of anxiety-inducing chaos and even a bit of excitement during a Vienna tram sequence, which pales in comparison to what Michael Bay can do on a budget. of $40 million (see Ambulance). The Gray Man has the grossness of his films, but none of the visual grandeur. 122 minutes. Now playing on Netflix. NN

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