shahbakht’s review published on Letterboxd:
I think this might be about climate change. Has anyone else made that connection?
I really enjoy McKay's forays into issue based movies, and The Big Short remains an absolute brilliant story of one of the most impactful events in recent history (it helps that it was based on the great Michael Lewis's book). I even enjoyed Vice much more than most people did. I like the intersection of politics, current affairs and movies. So, I was primed for this.
However, it left me a bit underwhelmed. It's very easy to see what it is doing: poking fun at everything from how journalism has been replaced by vapid bite-size meme-able and provocative yet fluff circlejerk of celebrity gossip and incendiary over-the-top scaremongering to politicization of issues that ought not to be divisive in any sane world, the undermining and discrediting of science and experts and the short sightedness and selfishness of those in power who often are looking for short-term gain instead of the long term good. It's all there for anyone to see. McKay ain't changing hearts and minds. He's playing squarely to his audience. If you're on that wavelength, this will rile you up as it is meant to.
The cast is filled with big names, and they are having fun, although some are much more memorable than others. Streep and Hill are great to watch, playing up a very obvious Trump inspired White House administration, but the much touted Ariana Grande cameo (I had never listened to her music prior to this, so this movie gave me a chance to hear her sing, and my opinion remains the same: I have no opinion) was a dud. Blanchett and Tyler Perry ought to be having much more fun than they actually do. Mark Rylance is incredibly annoying, doing the same shtick he did in Ready Player One. I know he's a beloved theatre actor, but his screen roles have been so mediocre so far. Timothee Chalamet is ... fine. Leo and Jennifer Lawrence do okay work, nothing that stands out.
All in all, a pretty average movie, which surprised me because I was expecting a way more weird and biting movie than it eventually is, and is actually a lot less funnier, too. A fluff movie about a very serious issue.