A Reflection of Today’s Society

A Controversial Review of Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up Film.


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We can all agree that the world isn’t looking like a very promising place to live in right now. Ranging from the ongoing pandemic to the disastrous climate change around the world, the human race is barely trying to change the world for the better, especially in the United States. With millions of COVID cases and many states on fire, it is sad to say that the country is falling apart. In the new Adam McKay movie Don’t Look Up, this movie is a metaphor of what society has been looking like in the past few years. Don’t Look Up is a comedy and disaster film that was released on December 24, 2021 on Netflix. This review will contain spoilers. 

Plot: 10/10

Don’t Look Up is a film about two astronomers who discovered a comet that will destroy Earth in six months. With the world on the line, the two try to alert the public of the incoming comet in a media frenzy. Although the movie has a very simple plot, it has proven to be one of the most controversial movies in recent years, with very mixed reviews. Why? McKay decides to get very political in this movie. He brilliantly tailors each scene to how the country deals with a life or death situation: by going political. 

When the two astronomers, Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) and Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) discovered the catastrophic comet, the two try their best to alert the public about this. Dibiasky and Dr. Mindy decided to appear in a morning news show to inform the nation. With the two news anchors, Brie Evantee (Cate Blanchett) and Jack Bremmer (Tyler Perry) failing to see the importance of the comet, things turn south as Dibiasky flips out in a screaming outburst on national television. With people all around the world mocking the astronomer, it is very difficult to convince them that the world is about to end. 

Fortunately, Dibiasky and Dr. Mindy got the chance to meet with President Orlean (Meryl Streep) and her son and Chief of Staff (Jonah Hill) to discuss the fatal issue. In hopes of finally convincing the public to take action, it goes down the drain when the two realize that the President would turn the natural disaster into a political advantage, as she falls into a controversial conflict that could destroy her future in the midterm elections. 

Photo Courtesy of NBS News

All of this seems too familiar. There are two ways to picture this metaphor. The nation is currently facing a climate crisis, with multiple forest fires and the lack of snow in several cold states. Despite the numerous activists and advocates of climate change, the U.S. is doing little to change this situation. Even with the loaded amounts of evidence, many refuse to acknowledge that climate change is a threat to the nation. On the other hand, we have the COVID pandemic. The pandemic has been going on for several years and despite scientists working hard to encourage people to wear masks and take the vaccine, the nation is still divided by the issue. McKay perfectly directed the movie to express his frustrations with how humanity deals with life and death situations like these. 

McKay also tackles another issue in Don’t Look Up. Just as the astronomers and the government agree to destroy the comet before the end of the world, the billionaire CEO of the fictional tech company BASH, Peter Isherwell (Mark Rylance), secretly consols President Orleans to turn the mission down as he discovers the comet contains minerals that the rich, like himself, could benefit from. McKay has perfectly represented BASH as corporate greed unethically associating themselves with the government’s decision making. 

Acting: 9/10

It is very evident that the star studded cast was very proud to be in the film as every single actor executed their role flawlessly. DiCaprio and Streep nail it as per usual. Hill’s comedic personality sets the humor in a very serious film. Rylance’s awkward and reserved personality yet frustrating and infuriating outlooks on the comet alleviates the audience’s frustrations in the film. But most of all, Lawrence was the one who pulled through the most. In my opinion, Lawrence is able to act so well in the film that the audience sympathizes with not just Dibiasky, but all the scientists in the world who painstakingly work hard to save humanity. Overall, the A-list cast certainly did not disappoint at all. 

Photo Courtesy of Decider

Final Thoughts

Even though Don’t Look Up isn’t the best film of all time, it is undeniably one of the most important films in recent years. Although Don’t Look Up is a satire of today’s society, it has a more serious tone to it as it reflects on humanity’s stupidity on dealing with life or death situations, ranging from political greed to corporate greed. The jokes in the film are only a mask on what humanity should be focusing on. If the human race does not cooperate to fix our current issues and allow petty issues like politics to impede on our solution, we will end up just like the end of the movie, the end of the world. 

Overall: 8.7/10