Directed by Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up follows the world’s reaction to two astronomers discovering a comet headed towards Earth that can potentially destroy the entire planet.
Don’t Look Up in many ways feels like Tenet. It feels like the most Adam Mckay movie yet, for good reasons and bad. Go in expecting to watch an Adam McKay movie and you will have a blast. Go in expecting to watch a regular movie and you could even hate it. Yes, it has problems and most of them stem from the fact that this isn’t an adapted screenplay. With nothing to hold him back, McKay tries to do a lot at once and in the end, the pieces don’t fit together too well. But in terms of enjoyability, this is probably the most fun I’ve had watching a movie this year, barring the new Spiderman movie.
Again, being an original screenplay has hindered the script from being focused. The movie tries to be a satire on climate change, media, politics, and technology all at once. Because of that, it lacks a lot of nuances that was a big plus in Mckay’s The Big Short. Virtue Signalling does stick out as the overall theme, but it’s spread so thin that it’s hard to definitively pick that up. I would’ve much rather preferred it just focus on one major element rather than give a broad but shallow picture.
Tons of fun
I can see why it has such a stellar cast. No actor could not have fun playing any of the major characters in the movie. They are outrageous but believable, fictional yet inspired. Meryl Streep, Mark Rylance, and Cate Blanchett have so much fun with their characters that I could have honestly seen just them for 2 hours. Leo and Jonah, although give great performances, aren’t really pushed as far as they could have. Jennifer Lawrence gives another very consistent performance with tons of emotional range and a lot of depth. This project is an actor’s delight, through and through.
There are some truly hilarious moments thanks to both the performances and dialogues. Since events are happening in real-time and the concept is easy to follow, there isn’t much reliance on exposition either. Being an original screenplay did cause McKay to get distracted but did lead to a more streamlined story. Leo’s character has an abrupt change in intentions towards the end and it feels like it was in service of the plot. But Leo’s great performance is enough to make it convincing. The story constantly challenges itself in clever ways. Anytime it felt like things were settling down for good, something came along that made things even worse. And given how the world reacted to COVID, it all seems plausible and is just so fun to watch.
Don’t Look Up tries to juggle a lot at once resulting in a movie that’s broad but shallow. It is still hilariously outrageous but thoroughly believable thanks to a daring script and its incredible cast.