DON'T LOOK UP
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Tyler Perry, Mark Rylance, Timothée Chalamet, Himesh Patel, Melanie Lynskey, Ron Perlman, Ariana Grande, and Scott Mescudi
Director: Adam McKay
Director Adam McKay's latest film, Don’t Look Up, is a political satire that speaks volumes to today’s society and media outlets. It’s kinda scary just how true to life some of the behavior is portrayed in this film. It’s a brutally dark comedy with a star-studded cast that gives soaring performances, but the overall story crashed for me. Some odd editing choices and a runtime that is truly to the film’s detriment stopped the movie from being as good as it should have been. That said, while it’s not always smooth sailing, there is more here to like than not.
Don’t Look Up is a fun, yet very sickening movie (in a good way). As a fan of writer/director Adam McKay, this is undoubtedly his best film, as it perfectly blends his comedic and dramatic sensibilities. Overall, it lacks subtlety, but for a film subject with this much urgency, I’m able to let that slide. The cast is one for the ages, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Rylance standing out, and as funny as the film is, the final act is both powerful and effective in its execution. It’s the rare film where it’s important that everyone sees it.
Not quite as accomplished as The Big Short, but less condescending than Vice, writer/director Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up lands somewhere between the two, quality-wise. Its first act is fairly messy, marred by some bizarre editing choices, but eventually it settles into the story at hand. What ultimately keeps it from soaring is that it works much better as a doomsday horror than as a comedy, but keeps skirting the former to focus on the latter…and it’s rather unsubtle about it. There are funny moments and the performances are good, but it’s the film’s terrifying finale that shines.
Some satires require separation from the events being skewered and a certain level of viewer ignorance to really work. Otherwise, you lose the revelatory absurdity driving the humor. Don’t Look Up is one such satire. That’s not to say it’s a bad movie. It features great performances and is generally enjoyable despite several unnecessary subplots, some jarring edits, and an overlong runtime. However, the jokes are so true-to-life that they aren’t particularly witty. It simply can’t match the tomfuckery of what has actually been happening the past few years, which mostly results in the opposite of “funny because it’s true.”