Don’t Look Up Movie Review: I don’t know what it is about Adam McKay’s style of directing that makes films that sound very bland on paper be very enjoyable. For example, The Big Short follows the story of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, and turns out it was a great comedy-drama. Vice, a biopic about Dick Cheney, another fun political comedy-drama, a bit divisive, but still entertaining. This lands us on Don’t Look Up that while it has many questionable aspects to it, still manages to be one of this year’s most fun and entertaining films. Don’t Look Up Review: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep’s Film Is an ‘Unmissable Dark Comedy’, Say Critics.
Don’t Look Up follows two astronomers who discover a comet that’s on a crash collision to Earth, and one that will cause an extinction level event. The majority of Don’t Look Up sees them trying to convince Earth that the comet is real and will destroy the planet. It’s a satire of modern day that makes fun of governments trying to deny the inevitable climate change that’s coming upon us while also riffing on modern day tech billionaires.
The best way to describe Don’t Look Up is that it is a more realistic version of Armageddon directed by Michael Bay. You don’t see people go to space to try and blow up an asteroid, it’s just about a bunch of people trying to convince people that the comet is real and if nothing is done then everyone will die. It is like taking a look at America during Trump’s presidency. This is where the satirical aspects of the story kick in.
You have the President of America trying to influence the public opinion by saying everything will be fine while having ulterior motives, while the actual people with knowledge are shovelled around. Watching that in a satirical format was quite impactful to be honest. Don’t Look Up really handles satire quite well and I think it strikes a fine balance between the heightened portrayal of something and then bringing it down to a more grounded level. It is also surprisingly very funny and I think while the humour and satire may not be liked by many, there is definitely an audience for it.
Watch The Trailer:
Don’t Look Up also boasts one of the best casts of this year. You have Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence leading it. Both of them play astronomers named Randall Mindy and Kate Dibiasky who find the comet. Leo’s character has a great development throughout the film as you see a person who gets pressured into a system but soon starts finding its cracks. That aspect of his character I really loved.
Lawrence for me was a highlight in the film. Kate is basically every person on the internet frustrated with how the system deals with stuff. Seeing that translated into a film worked wonders. Kate is dragged in this film through some really tough circumstances and the pain Lawrence portrays is wonderfully put on the screen. I loved every second with her on screen. Her character goes through some massive development and I loved where the film just took her character. She is not afraid about speaking out her mind and facing the consequences, that immediately made her likeable.
The rest of the cast also includes Meryl Streep who plays the role of the President of the United States, amazing casting done over here. Her incompetence shown throughout the movie gets frustrating and I think she portrays that perfectly. Everyone in Don’t Look Up who is in a place of power is showcased as extremely incompetent and greedy and I think they finely balance it out with our leads and the side characters.
Don’t Look Up also features one of my favourite soundtracks of the year. Composed by Nicholas Britell, the score mixes up Jazz perfectly with a lot of more serious sounding tones and it fits the movie perfectly. The more revelation and emotional oriented scenes have this somber tone to it while the high octane scenes jazz it up. I loved it.
But I think my main problem with Don’t Look Up has to be that for some scenes it feels like there is no direction there. It feels that it’s all over the place. This is the most apparent in the second act of the film. A lot of it feels like scenes stitched to include runtime and a lot didn’t have anything meaningful to offer. It’s a story with a lot of screws in it, and in the middle it felt like they were starting to get loose. It sort of started losing track on how they would balance the tone and some more weirder elements were present.
Thankfully the third act gets back up to speed as it provides an ending that really feels like it did tug a few heart strings. I loved the entire setup on it and the one scene where it felt the most like characters were actual people and not caricatures of real life individuals, but that only lasted until it didn’t feel like that. Just Look Up Song: Ariana Grande and Kid Cudi’s Track From Netflix’s Don’t Look Up Is Magical With Heart Touching Lyrics (Watch Video).
The movie follows the now new norm of having mid-credits scenes. You get two of them here. The first one plays immediately after the main ending and I think it heavily brought down the movie. You just had such a powerful and impactful ending but you undermine it by changing the tone quite instantly. Levity is very important in conveying a story, but the levity here just felt quite instant and was just there to be a payoff for a joke that was established at the beginning of the film. I would have much rather preferred had this scene been cut out and the second mid-credits been there, cause it actually takes place after a bit. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed my time with Don’t Look Up.
Mid-Credits Felt Unnecessary
A Messy Second Act
Don’t Look Up definitely was one of this year’s biggest surprises for me. Boasting an impressive cast and some really fun satire that strikes the perfect balance between reality and fiction, Don’t Look Up definitely is a fun way to end this year’s already impressive film slate. It may be divisive going forward, but it definitely has something to say and I enjoyed it a lot.
(The above story first appeared on The Hamden Journal on Dec 24, 2021 07:16 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website thehamdenjournal.com).