‘Don’t Look Up‘ is a 2021 comedy, allegedly, directed by Adam McKay who also wrote and co-produced it with Kevin Messick for Netflix.
Astronomy PH.D candidate Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) spots a comet and informs her professor Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio). After doing calculations, they realize it is heading toward earth for an extinction level event. They contact Planetary Defense Coordination Office head Dr. Teddy Oglethorpe (Rob Morgan) who gets them a meeting with President Janie Orlean (Meryl Streep) and her obnoxious Chief of Staff son Jason (Jonah Hill). At first, they try to intimidate them to keep silence, but after a scandal, they tap Colonel Benedict Drask (Ron Perlman) to head the mission. Dr. Mindy cheats on his wife June (Melanie Lynskey) with TV host Brie Evantee (Cate Blanchett). However, the US government abandons the plan when tech billionaire Peter Isherwell (Mark Rylance) discover valuable minerals. As the comet approaches, panic ensues as the government tries to tighten the lid on Dibiasky and Mindy.
This movie is typical of modern Adam KcKay. Once a great and talented writer who can bring the laughs, now he has become a preachy scold who uses low-brow humor to lecture the audience instead of entertain them. Nothing wrong with putting a social message into your films, but when the message is the film, it creates a blindspot. Oh sure, he can point to his “Best Picture” nod, but it means nothing.
There was something there. McKay hits on the hypocrisy of the government, Big Tech, the media, celebrities, and even academia, but it all felt hollow and on-the-nose. We get it, the comet is analogy for global cooling, er, global warming, er, climate change, er… whatever the new buzzword is. There was no cleverness in the dialogue, themes, or even in the casting.
Leonardo DiCaprio was tapped to lead the cast, no doubt because of his annoying appearances as any climate conference that will put him up in a five-star hotel. The problem is, he is a raging hypocrite. He flies around on a private jet, releasing fumes in the air. Don’t get me started on Meryl Streep. She is the head of the church of Harvey Weinstein and went into hiding when his scandal broke.
It is a shame. This movie could have said so much from a comedic lens, but instead we got a lame lecture that I could have gotten on a TedTalk.
Bottom line, despite the stellar cast, give this trite attempt at a comedy a pass. Don’t Look Up is an extinction level disappointment.
FAVORITE QUOTE: They’re not even smart enough to be as evil as you give them credit for.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Violence, Alcohol abuse, Strong foul language
Check out the trailer below:
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my reviews of Shut In and Brazen. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.
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