Adam McKay’s apocalyptic satire hits the target weakly.
Following his recent trend of political satires “The Big Short” and “Vice,” Adam McKay has made “Don’t Look Up” a representation of how our planet is dying from global warming and people won’t listen. He uses the asteroid target to punish those who won’t listen. Half of the time, it’s fearless, but the other half is unfocused and negative.
He guides Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence brilliantly as astronomers Dr. Randall Mindy and Kate Diabasky, who find out about the planet’s impending doom. DiCaprio, who was recently able to show his comedy edge in “The Wolf of Wall Street,” is able to resonate with his real-life support for climate change by grasping on his character’s perspective and attitude. And Lawrence gives the best performance in the movie when she plays a woman who hates the government for their greed and corruption, and deals with one law enforcer after the next for exposing their secrets to the public. And when she freaks out, it really shows her virtuoso acting.
The comet will arrive in 6 months time, and with help from Dr. Teddy Oglethorpe (Rob Morgan) they have to go on a press tour to warn everyone, but….
Nobody believes them!
Not President Orlean (Meryl Streep). Not her Chief of Staff son Jason (Jonah Hill). Not news people Brie Evantee (Cate Blanchett) and Jack Bremmer (Tyler Perry). Not music sensations DJ Chello (Kid Cudi) and Riley Bina (Ariana Grande), who both just got engaged. They all think Randall is sexy, which makes him have an affair with Brie and they think Kate is crazy for shouting “We’re All Gonna Die” on TV, which becomes a series of memes.
Then, they start to believe them, and must assign the strongest pilot (Ron Perlman) to destroy the asteroid. Unfortunately, the mission got aborted, because the movie’s Steve Jobs Peter Isherwell (Mark Rylance) plans to harvest the asteroid’s minerals for a stupid cellphone product. This nightmare either has people scared or earning new job opportunities. It’s clear that the President and businessman care more about money than the lives of millions.
And then everyone, depending on their political views, have the hashtags: #justlookup and #dontlookup.
The supporting cast includes Timothee Chalamet as a Twitch guy named Yule, who supports Kate’s beliefs; Chris Evans as Devon Peters the star of an upcoming “Armageddon” movie (that is if people will be alive to see it); Melanie Lynskey as Randall’s wife, who finds out about his affair; and many others like Hamish Patel, Sarah Silverman, and Michael Chiklis appear.
There are a few chuckles every now and then, but not much big laughs. And I’m not political, but I can sense when a comedy wants to take that approach with real materials. “Don’t Look Up” is a mixed bag for me, because I wanted the movie to be more fearless and less scared by the law punishing those who spread the word about these particular government secrets. It’s supposed to be mean-spirited, but you’re not really proud of what the movie is poking fun at.
I already praised the performances from DiCaprio and Lawerence and how McKay makes a point that we need to do something for our planet, but I wanted the film to do more than succumb to the doubts and money.
And in regards to our planet dying from global warming, there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wish I could teleport instead of drive. Unfortunately, that kind of traveling has yet to be invented.
Now Playing in Select Theaters
Streaming on Netflix Christmas Eve
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