Don't Look Up

Don't Look Up ★★★½

👍70%

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Don’t Look Up is an entertaining movie. I was lucky enough that one of the theaters nearby me had limited, early access showings of this highly anticipated film and that I would be able to see it weeks before it’s Christmas Eve release on Netflix. Now that I’ve seen this film I can safely say that it’s going to be interesting to see what everyone thinks of it because in typical Adam McKay fashion opinions from audiences and critics are going to really mixed. Personally I think despite how forceful and messy this film can get it’s an absolute improvement to Vice, haven’t seen The Big Short yet, and isn’t a bad film at all. The whole cast present memorable performances with Leo and Jlaw standing out amongst the cast of A-Tier celebrities in their leading roles and through McKay’s jumpy narrative this very entertaining story is told. It’s pretty much everything I expected out of this political comedy in parts but then in others it takes unexpected paths that shakes things up. If you shut your brain off and engage with this enjoyable and at times due to these extremely forceful but admittedly effective parallels to real life social/political issues, showcases a situation that’s genuinely scary to think about. Everyone’s thought about the end of the world at least once in their life so it’s pretty interesting to see this possible outcome play out even if it’s objectively bloated. Also this film’s late arrival into the awards race doesn’t mean it’ll be overlooked, I’m predicting it to get a somewhat similar treatment that Vice got which if you recall was pretty gracious. 

The plot is decent it’s a convoluted but very entertaining story. It’s a hyper realistic story about two astronomers attempting to warn the world about a comet heading straight to earth and once they succeed the conflicts that follow. The story has a certain sense of feeling frantic and stressful which further makes it feel heavy. The dramatic aspects are compelling with moments during the third act straying away from being just comedic reflections and going the territory of being thought provoking. There’s some great bits of comedy ever so often but I wish the story would have primarily focused on the apocalyptic dramatic side because that’s the part that made the story actually work. There’s a couple of big flaws with the story the biggest ones being that there’s quite a few times where the story feels like it’s pushing it way too much and there’s some sub plots that by the end of the film felt pretty pointless. As much as I love Cate Blanchett and thought her performance was rock solid, her subplot really weighed the story down. The pacing is good it’s certainly overlong but there isn’t many slow or boring moments. 

The acting is great Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence give great performances. DiCaprio nails both the incredibly stressful persona and comedic side of his character with the demonstration of the incredible acting skills that made him so famous. There’s a scene where he snaps, you’ll know it when it comes, that is undoubtedly one of the best acted moments of this year. That scene alone makes the film worthwhile but then again his performance is a primary factor to that too. Jlaw features her regular sarcastic and jerky persona but nonetheless manages to come off as charming and sympathetic in this role that she perfectly fits into. Meryl Streep and Jonah Hill give pretty good supporting performances even if they don’t always land in delivering their comedic efforts.

 Mark Rylance gives a great supporting performance as the creepily accurate representation of modern day billionaires. It’s unlike any role we’ve ever seen him play and I’m all for it. Cate Blanchett, Rob Morgan, Tyler Perry, Timothee Chalamet, Ron Perlman, and Himesh Patel give good supporting performances as well. The direction is decent from Adam McKay, his direction is extremely unsubtle and values style more than substance but his directorial ideology actually worked pretty well with this type of story. The script is decent it’s an objectively messy but memorable and pretty clever script that holds the film’s stability together on multiple occasions. The cinematography is good as well. 

The editing is as expected very swift and campy but still modernly stylish, due to the general inconsistency and choppy behavior of the editing I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s good but it’s nowhere near as bad as the editing in Vice. The visual effects are surprisingly prevalent and well done. The score is a fantastic score that builds the atmosphere excellently. The song from Grande and Cudi was great too. The comedy is very hit or miss with the jokes/gags that hit being really funny and the ones that miss very much falling flat. In terms of the Oscars despite it’s meta critic and rotten tomatoes score I’m still confident it’ll get a handful of nominations including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Original Score, Best Original Song, and Best Visual Effects. It has a chance to slip in a nod for DiCaprio in Best Actor even though that category is packed and shows some potential to sneak into Best Director especially since McKay has been nominated for his past two films. This film going to do well at the Golden Globe nominations which come out very soon too. The ending is a somewhat predictable but bittersweet ending that leaves you to reflect on what you just watched. Also make sure to stick around for the end credits scene it’s by far the most hilarious scene in the film. Overall Don’t Look Up presents practically everything you would expect from an Adam McKay film but this time around it’s not all that bad, it actually makes for a satire that feels like a satire of itself and is an enjoyably stressful apocalyptic trip. 

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