Adam McKay’s “Don’t Look Up” is so much more than your standard end of the world popcorn flick. The film is saturated with more messages and meanings than this reviewer could count, featuring a dazzling collage of stark visuals and genuine laughs that are befitting of such a smart, smarmy filmmaker.
Yes, there’s a comet on a collision course with earth. But this isn’t “Armageddon,” with a handful of heroes willing to potentially sacrifice their lives to save billions of others. The world is far more jaded than back in those days, with the media still looking to maximize views and clicks, even if the end times are upon us.
“Don’t Look Up” stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Dr. Randall Mindy and Jennifer Lawrence as Dr. Kate Dibiasky, two low-level astronomers forced to travel around the U.S. to warn a flippant population that a giant comet is heading straight towards the planet.
McKay began his directorial career as one of the most prominent comedic filmmakers of a generation, putting out such pictures as “Talladega Nights,” “The Other Guys,” and “Step Brothers.” However, McKay has since transitioned to more serious fare, notably 2015’s “The Big Short” about the 2008 financial collapse and 2018’s “Vice” about war criminal Dick Cheney.
In “Don’t Look Up,” a number of societal blights are seemingly on trial: big tech, consumerism, anti-intellectualism, social media, self-serving politics. When crammed into a single feature film, there’s a certain sense of dread and one can’t help but feel how f-cked we really are.
Yes, the comet represents a quick, sudden death. Without it, however, humanity seems doomed to a slower, far more tortured demise.
Finally, as cynical as the film may be at times, I did not expect the ending to be quite as poignant and emotional as it is. Ultimately, this short life that we live really does boil down to the friendships, family, and love that we share along the way.