“You guys, the truth is way more depressing. They are not even smart enough to be as evil as you’re giving them credit for.“
With the United States as divided as it is, we seem to be eating up Adam McKay’s satire films like hot cakes. He’s taken on Wall Street with 2015’s, The Big Short, and taken on Dick Cheney and the Vice Presidency in 2018’s, Vice. So get McKay in the director’s chair, and an all-star cast, you get a great movie, right? Well let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Don’t Look Up may be the weakest of McKay’s directing in recent years as he takes on a story about a crushing comet heading to earth. After stumbling across this comet, Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio), and his doctoral student, Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence), now have the gargantuan task of telling the public about this and pleading to the President of the United States (Meryl Streep) to destroy it. Problem is, no one wants to hear about this, and no one wants to do anything about it. “Sit tight, and assess,” they’re told.
DiCaprio’s talents are strangely missing as his Dr. Mindy is just a sadly written character. There are times when DiCaprio could have stood in the corner and I wouldn’t have noticed. He’s forgetful at best. As for Jennifer Lawrence, I don’t necessarily consider myself a fan of hers, but you can’t deny that she’s absolutely hilarious in the film. In fact, her wit and sarcasm is what kept the movie going for me. The rest of the cast, no matter their star quality, come in and out like a rotating door of celebrities that never really add much to the film.
The screenplay wants to be something impactful (identifying with our current state of both climate change and the pandemic) along with something we can laugh at. But in doing so, McKay’s message, and therefore his impact, is lost in the shuffle. In addition to the screenplay, the use for abstract editing it totally unnecessary. This technique has happened in McKay’s past films, but now he’s gone full throttle. It’s overly used to the point where it becomes quite nauseating.
The harsh reviews for Don’t Look Up are undeserving though I do understand its critiques. It’s not perfect, by far. Point is, in a film that’s supposed to be so pivotal as to how we look at things in the world, it’s rather forgettable. Don’t Look Up is not terrible. It’s not good. It’s just okay.
Don’t Look Up
Directed by: Adam McKay
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett, Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, Tyler Perry, Timothée Chalamet, Ron Perlman, and Meryl Streep