Don't Look Up

Don't Look Up ★★★

Reasonably compelling and worth looking into, if for no other reason than the assemblage of one of the largest all-star casts of all time. I didn't find it as incredible nor as outright terrible as sometimes cited. I also don't really mind the editing style that many have decried at all, but then I'm a huge fan of stuff from guys like Edgar Wright, Danny Boyle, Spike Lee and Matthew Vaughn, whose movies contain tons of jump cuts, overlays and cross-source splicing as they see fit all over the place. At least the editing style and some of the interesting mannerism quirks of the talented cast give this overlong film a little special life and make it worth a watch, because the humor element missed a lot more than it hit, and it was very hard to care about a single character involved due to various writing decisions and the noncommital tone. I really wish Adam McKay would go back to making fun and slight comedic masterpieces like Step Brothers and Anchorman, much lower on pretense quotient and higher on entertainment. So what if they don't have "real world" value? They've added a lot more value to my life than this film.


The best social/political message films are those that feel like they could also exist within their own cinematic space without the primary focus just being on providing a message. They have dimensional characters and film-specific plot elements. However, this is a bit more in line with the more common level output of the satire genre, and feels like it was constructed merely to scream "wake up". The primary audience already knows the obvious message. Meanwhile, those who don't want to be persuaded will continue to ignore it, because most of those people have an inherent distrust of Hollywood. This is all preaching to the knowing choir, and who likes being preached to while watching film, anyways? So the point is... ideally, you want some kind of additional unique cinematic and entertainment value to justify the film's existence. I'm purely a leftist, so this is not me complaining about the subject material, but the material is definitely used in a way here that doesn't feel especially interesting or fleshed out as movie entertainment beyond its call to arms for the climate. Unfortunately, this variety of "message" or "real life impact" films are the ones that often get the most Oscar attention, while more versatile films with character and world-building detail like Do The Right Thing or Sorry to Bother You get comparatively shafted.


I was kind of hoping that the entire main cast would eventually jump the shark here and launch themselves into the comet via an Armageddon style mission, while Ariana and Cudi perform a live concert trap-pop duet of "I Don't Want To Miss a Thing". What a big finish that could have been! Overall verdict: Go ahead and watch it. It's a cast-driven phenomenon with impressive scale and polish. It is what is happening. It holds social relevance. Just don't expect many to care about it in twenty years, since it doesn't have the level of emotional resonance, uniqueness, or clever humor writing to make you crave a return. I would say the rewatch value is very, very limited.


Apropos of nothing... Was I the only one who thought Jennifer Lawrence's hair looked absolutely terrible?

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