Don’t Look Up (2021)

dont look up poster 2021 movie
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 7/10

Good cast, great concept

McKay takes away from his writing and the film through editing and storytelling techniques

Movie Info

Movie Name: Don’t Look Up

Studio:  Hyperobject Industries/Province of British Columbia Production Services Tax Credit/Bluegrass Films

Genre(s):  Comedy/Drama

Release Date(s):  December 5, 2021 (Premiere)/December 10, 2021 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

dont look up jennifer lawrence leonardo dicaprio

We’re just a couple of scientists saving a world that doesn’t want saving

When student Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) discovers an extinction level comet headed toward Earth, she and her supervisor Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) team with Dr. Teddy Oglethorpe (Rob Morgan) to convince President Orlean (Meryl Streep) to do fund a way to save the world…but saving the world isn’t a “politically smart move”.  As the world twists and turns the research, Kate, Randall, and Teddy discover that saving a world that doesn’t want to save itself is hard.

Directed Adam McKay (who wrote the screenplay and penned the story with David Sirota), Don’t Look Up is a comedy-drama satire.  The film was released to a limited theatrical run and then released on Netflix.  The film received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Film Editing.

dont look up jonah hill meryl streep

What’s a comet do for our numbers?

Adam McKay is tricky.  I really enjoyed The Big Short but really didn’t enjoy Vice (which more than being unenjoyable was a disappointment).  I feel Don’t Look Up falls somewhere in-between.

The biggest problem with many of Adam McKay’s projects (including The Big Short) is that he attempts to make it too clever.  While this format worked with The Big Short, it made Vice a complete drag.  Here, you have some extremely smart dialogue and some genuine laugh out loud moments, but you also get it mixed with some pretentious things like it feels like he believes he’s elevating the picture, but it is really just slowing down the comedy and reflection of the project (aka mixing in shots of ants, nature, etc).  In addition to that, it could have shaved time off the movie which was already rather bloated.

dont look up ariana grande song

There would definitely be a benefit concert to benefit…someone

The cast is solid, but it also feels like they are largely playing version of other characters they have played before.  The cast is littered with talent and the expansive cast has to a lot to stand-out.  Some of the memorable performances include Cate Blanchett and Tyler Perry as daytime “news” reporters who aren’t news reporters at all.  Ariana Grande and Scott Mescudi as a celebrity couple overshadowing the asteroid (at least they care about the manatees).  I enjoy the bickering between Jonah Hill and Jennifer Lawrence (though there characters weren’t very original), and Meryl Streep and Leonardo DiCaprio always play at high levels.  Mark Rylance gets the “that’s bizarre” performance as the head of a tech company who literally knows more about anyone than they know themselves (though I wish someone had called him on it since all his algorithm predictions were rather apocalyptic).

dont look up timothe chalamet jennifer lawrence

Yep…we’re f*#!ed

The movie is a strange combination of basic drama and a science-fiction element of a comet striking a planet which provides a completely different set of visuals.  As mentioned above, the movie is edited with contrasting nature and events that show-up in the form of quick flashes…rather than being creative or smart, they feel irritating.

Don’t Look Up might not be my favorite movie, but I was more entertained by it because I went in with low expectations.  I don’t agree with a lot of McKay’s choices, but overall, I feel that the movie plays out exactly how events would play out if this were to happen (while COVID and global warming are obviously a big basis for this, events in the Ukraine show the same type of “I don’t believe you” mentality).  It is actually probably a bit too real for many, but its biggest flaw is that the film thinks too much of itself which is ironic since the movie is about people being their own downfall due to inflated egos.  Don’t Look Up is one of those films that teeters on the edge of being great, but don’t quite get there.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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