Don't Look Up (2021). Photo: Netflix

Don't Look Up (2021)

"There's dope stuff, like material stuff, like sick apartments and watches, and cars, um, and clothes and shit that could all go away and I don't wanna see that stuff go away. So I'm gonna say a prayer for that stuff. Amen." - Jason Orlean

One of the most talked-about movies in recent years, Don't Look Up seems to be polarizing (no pun intended) critics and fans alike. In my mind, instead of being hyper-critical, it pays to relax a bit, let this comedy roll, and enjoy the ride. Sure, serious global issues are at play here, and yes, we need to think and discuss them. But Don't Look Up also succeeds as a basic comedy, and that's not an easy task to pull off.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to read between the lines of Don't Look Up. In Adam McKay's biting dark comedy, scientists discover a catastrophic threat to humanity and try to warn the world before it's too late. In reality, this could be global warming or perhaps even a health pandemic killing millions.

Still, Don't Look Up is even more concrete: an enormous comet is hurtling towards earth. We are in the middle of a global crisis and need to pull together to stop it. Sound familiar? Of course, no one listens to the scientists in the film, as in our natural world. Instead, they obsess over superficial social media likes and subscribes, celebrity gossip, and bizarre conspiracy theories. For many, it is easier to ignore the truth than to face it and tackle it head-on.

Mckay's biting satire is jam-packed with superstars (Leo Decaprio, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Laurence, and more). Indeed, this makes Don't Look Up a lot of fun to watch, in the same way, that celebrity romps like Cannonball Run, Ocean's Eleven, and It's A Mad, Mad World were in the past. However, having a movie filled with recognizable superstars can be distracting at first. I wonder if Don't Look Up would have been more hard-hitting if cast with up-and-coming actors. On the other hand, the tight script delivers the punches so soundly that even a celebrity cast can't dampen the blow.

Don't Look Up is a harsh and hilarious satire on the idiocy of humankind's "evolution." It is funny, yet it makes a hard-hitting statement that the audience needs to ponder. It will be interesting to see how Don't Look Up ages over the coming years. Perhaps the doubters will come on board, and our planet will tackle the global environmental crisis issues that we face. Maybe all of the warning bells in Don't Look Up will prove unnecessary. Perhaps we will all look back at "Don't Look Up" and laugh about how off the mark it was. One can only hope. (B)

Directed by Adam McKay
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, Tyler Perry, Timothee Chalamet, Ron Perlman, Ariana Grande, Scott Mescudi (Kid Cudi), Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep
Genre: Comedy

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