Director Adam McKay’s latest apocalyptic comedy “Don’t Look Up” examines a larger political commentary about the downfalls of human narcissism when two astronomers are faced with a comet on a collision course toward Earth.
The film is packed with incredible actors and comedy, but both are lost in its predictable plot line.
The movie follows two scientists, Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) and Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio). As they attempt to save Earth, they seek out leaders such as the president for help, but are disappointed.
The most notable aspect of the movie is its impressive cast, with stars such as Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill and Cate Blanchett, as well as Timothee Chalamet and Tyler Perry. This well-versed cast continuously proves itself throughout the film. Lawrence especially impresses the audience through her portrayal of distress when her character goes on live television to warn the world of its end, but is ignored.
The director’s choice to include vibrant, quick shots adds to the story’s comedy. One of the longest scenes quickly cuts between different characters as they debate back and forth, adding a playful aspect to an otherwise serious scene.
While “Don’t Look Up” will make viewers laugh, it also includes scenes of frustration and loss.
This serious side is illustrated when characters like Dibiasky and Mindy are overwhelmed with the responsibility of saving Earth, as well as the public’s varied response to the news of the comet. People quickly split into two opposing sides: one fighting to stop the comet, and the other choosing to believe it does not exist at all. Through this polarization, McKay criticizes the political divisions in our country that often prevent society from saving itself. It is a reflection of recent political issues such as climate change and COVID-19.
Although the movie features a powerful message and a stellar cast, the plot is somewhat predictable and underwhelming. Viewers can easily guess what most of the characters will do next, which takes away the sense of suspense. For example, when Dr. Mindy uses the comet to gain fame, viewers can foresee his story before it happens. His affair and eventual reconciliation with his wife is predictable, taking away from the originality of his character.
Additionally, while the ending scenes provide comedic relief against the heartbreaking end of the world, they were unnecessary and diminished the overall message of society’s own self being its downfall.
The plot’s awkward combination of seriousness and humor throughout the movie ends up taking away from its overall message and level of interest. This