December 30, 2021
1.5 / 5
1.5 / 5
'Don't Look Up' Wasn't Much to Look Up to
Netflix’s latest big-budget release Don’t Look Up has been building buzz in recent months with its chock-full-of-stars trailer. It seems that director Adam McKay might have been more concerned with cramming cameos than he was in this story, which, putting it mildly, was a bloated criticism of the rich and famous… delivered unto us by the rich and famous.
Don’t Look Up delves into what the world would look like if a deadly comet were to strike the earth, and only the most powerful and intelligent people in the world knew about it. The answer is, well, not good, because those people usually suck. Astronomers Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) make this horrific discovery and immediately alert Madame President Meryl and her smug Chief of Staff (Jonah Hill), as well as the rest of the country to their impending doom- with no avail. Instead, they’re taken on a media circus tour where they must compete for audience attention. While they work with the government to formulate a plan to destroy the comet before it’s too late, they quickly learn that saving all of humanity isn’t the number one item on everyone’s to-do list.
My biggest qualm with this film is that I genuinely cannot tell if it was supposed to be funny. I can definitely tell that its intention was to be satirical- but even those elements were not pulled off successfully. This can be attributed to a complete lack of comedic chemistry between the characters or between any of the story elements. While the parallels of this science-fiction story to current events are topical, observation ≠ satire. Just because McKay can accurately predict that the first thing we might do in a doomsday crisis is make a meme about it- doesn’t mean that it’s an astute criticism, or that it’s necessarily funny. Satire is all about the delivery of your observations. The humour is found in the area where truth meets hyperbole. While [read more]