Justin Peterson’s review published on Letterboxd:
In the spirit of Stanley Kubrick's 'Dr. Strangelove' ... thanks Adam McKay for this eerie reminder of how our society would likely react to an end of the world-level disaster.
"Pleasant? I'm sorry, but not everything needs to sound so goddamn clever or charming or likeable all the time. Sometimes we need to just be able to say things to one another. We need to hear things! Look, let's establish, once again, that there is a huge comet headed towards Earth."
So I think it is fair to say that Don’t Look Up is Michael Bay's 'Armageddon's evil and much more political twin brother. I have always enjoyed Adam McKay's 'explainy pants' style of making movies where he takes true events but then applies comedic liberties to the story, while commenting on the inner workings of what is going on in movies like Vice, and The Big Short.' Now with Don’t Look Up McKay is commenting on a theoretical event in the future, while also referencing current events throughout the narrative.
(Quick Hits) ... Spoilers:
- McKay pulled way back on narrators stopping the progress of the story to explain things this time, and instead incorporated those elements of the script into the performances of these characters
- Don't Look Up is a crazy reminder of the political era we are in where everything is so divided, with people questioning the legitimacy of Government directive
- What a freaking amazing cast with stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, and many more!
- As a former journalist it was awesome to see the dark comedy of how a planet-killing event would disrupt the 24-hour news cycle. With these experts getting pushed to the side by The President, and making an appearance on a fun morning talk show that has no idea what they really came on to talk about
- Then we get to see what social media culture does with it as Jennifer Lawrence's character gets labeled as a crazy woman, while Leo's character gets to be the world's sexiest scientist
- The film does an extraordinary job of walking us through a movie like 'Independence Day' but with so much more character insight, bad leadership decisions, and instead of the heroes saving the world ... they perish like most everyone else
- On the side you have this Apple/ Richard Branson/ Dick Cheney kinda character who wants to trust their problem-solving algorithms to save the world, along with exploiting the remains of the comet for financial gain
I will admit Don’t Look Up has a highly cynical view of human society. But much of what happens is in the realm of possibility. And Adam McKay putting a darkly comic and political spin on it hopefully will stir conversations about how it relates to topics like 'Global Warming', and the 'Covid-19 Pandemic'.
I could go on and on about certain moments and nuances of the film, but for now let me leave off by saying I think Don’t Look Up offers an important message that we should learn and discuss, and presents it using the amazing form of fictional cinema.
Thanks for reading.
Happy movie watching ... Skål! 🍻