Don’t Look Up Review: A Cosmic Disaster That You Can Skip Watching
Adam McKay’s film challenges political indifference to looming catastrophe but misses out on the comedy.
When a gigantic comet is about to collide with the earth and destroy all humans unless it is knocked off its course, you would think that everyone would be frightened. Well, they are not. At least not in Don’t Look Up, a film that’s streaming on Netflix right now. Fans had high hopes for the film, and it seems that it failed to meet even the basic expectations.
Adam McKay is the writer and director of the 138-minute-long film that has very few good moments. The best moment was a silly song, Just Look Up, where we got to see Ariana Grande with Kid Cudi. Another was Mark Rylance’s performance that you couldn’t help but admire. Another obvious reason to watch Don’t Look Up is its key stars, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Tyler Perry, Timothée Chalamet, Rob Morgan and Jonah Hill, all demonstrating that even they can be unfunny.
The crisis in Don’t Look Up starts when a doctoral candidate in astronomy at Michigan State, Ms. Lawrence’s Kate Dibiasky, identifies something ominous in the cosmos. Yes, you guessed that right, it’s the comet that will make her a celebrity quickly. Mr. DiCaprio’s Randall Mindy is her professor, who obviously panics. As you watch Don’t Look Up, he gets an audience with Ms. Streep’s incompetent and fatuous President Orlean, but he cannot even articulate the problem correctly. She isn’t interested. Interestingly, she finds that he is interesting enough to grope.
Blanchett’s Brie Evantee doesn’t seem interested either. She is a lascivious co-host (with Mr. Perry’s Jack Bremmer) of a TV talk show which keeps the chatter light in leaden fashion. And yes, Brie goes beyond groping!
Kate and Randall do try to spread out the truth whenever they can, as best they can, dividing the country into Don’t Look Up-ers—impact deniers wearing MAGA-like hats—and Just Look Up-ers is a nice antic notion, but it’s never developed into a full-fledged movement.
The character of the film that gets attention is played by Mr. Rylance— Peter Isherwell. He is an epicene zillionaire tech overlord who has lofty traits of Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and Steve Jobs. He is also fairly creepy and the real villain. Whatever may happen to this planet, Peter will thrive on his own.
Don’t Look Up might have been a fun watch if it was executed by keeping this fact in mind that the audience is quite intelligent these days. The film is more of a suggestive of sketch comedy than social or political satire, look away.
You can read more about Don’t Look Up here:
Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence), an astronomy grad student, and her professor Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) make an astounding discovery of a comet orbiting within the solar system. The problem — it’s on a direct collision course with Earth. The other problem? No one really seems to care. Turns out warning mankind about a planet-killer the size of Mount Everest is an inconvenient fact to navigate. With the help of Dr. Oglethorpe (Rob Morgan), Kate and Randall embark on a media tour that takes them from the office of an indifferent President Orlean (Meryl Streep) and her sycophantic son and Chief of Staff, Jason (Jonah Hill), to the airwaves of The Daily Rip, an upbeat morning show hosted by Brie (Cate Blanchett) and Jack (Tyler Perry). With only six months until the comet makes impact, managing the 24-hour news cycle and gaining the attention of the social media obsessed public before it’s too late proves shockingly comical — what will it take to get the world to just look up?!
DON’T LOOK UP is written and directed by Academy Award winner Adam McKay (The Big Short) and also stars Mark Rylance, Ron Perlman, Timothée Chalamet, Ariana Grande, Scott Mescudi (aka Kid Cudi), Himesh Patel, Melanie Lynskey, Michael Chiklis and Tomer Sisley.
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