Brandon White’s review published on Letterboxd:
I understand that it’s a satire of the modern political life in America. I understand it’s supposed to offend everybody. I understand that it’s about climate change (more so than Wonder Woman 1984 which I still can’t figure out), but that doesn’t excuse the fact that I was so miserable watching Don’t Look Up. This is definitely written and directed by an angry person, which I’m always here for them to show their emotions out on screen for the audience to understand where they’re coming from. However, I feel it was more so by a self-satisfied angry person that thought a lot of the scenes were actually saying something like it’s a discovery that quite frankly, we already know it.
President caring about votes more so than the actual people? Yep. Billionaires caring about money more so than they do with making a difference? Check. People getting corrupted by power and personal gain? Most definitely. Celebrities on the outside look like nice people, but they were actually putting on a face when really on the inside they don’t care about people? You betcha. Like if you didn’t read the news at all and were living in a social bubble, this might seem very informative to you. But for people that have gone through countless social media, YouTube videos, or even documentaries on that matter, this would feel like mansplaining at this point and much rather go to sleep instead. The humor just doesn’t do it for me because it’s going at this in a very heavy-handed to a fault approach that feels like Adam McKay thinks his audience is a bunch of morons.
Sure the score by Nicholas Britell is good (even if it’s nonexistent in some areas), and the acting is solid. In my interpretation of it, it feels like the film just uses a stacked cast of talented actors to tell me, “Hey, I just want to let you know that there’s no point in life. No point in standing up for yourself, no point in doing something about it, no point in getting a college degree, no point in being in a relationship, and no point in getting a job as well. Everything is meaningless, and you should just quit while you’re ahead.” It was like watching the complete opposite of Gal Gadot’s Imagine video, which it might as well have been that and Ariana Grande’s song Just Look Up to just add in the salt wound to my brain that makes me feel so nihilistic and just didn’t see a point to anything in my life for a while. Thankfully I went to bed right afterward because it felt mentally damaging to me personally that I wasn’t processing it in a healthy way that would end up giving me huge depression.
Like what are audiences supposed to react to this film? Cause I sure as hell don’t get what this film is supposed to do for the audience. Films like these make me apologize to The Trial of Chicago 7 when it comes to white liberalism because I at least get what that was was going for, even if I wasn’t a fan of the film myself. This just feels toxic to me that rubbed me the wrong way. I honestly rather watch any of Adam McKay’s previous films than watch Don’t Look Up. Such a distasteful film that I get that’s intentional, but put some nuance or purpose towards that approach instead of just being “Fear-Mongering: The Movie.”