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Don't Look Up review

by Lewis Kennedy. Published Mon 17 Jan 2022 09:05

Society clings to ignorance, especially when faced with information that creates uncertainty, we prefer to turn our attention to leisurely distractions, such as social media and let it be someone else's problem.

Don’t Look Up presents this idea perfectly with legendary comic director Adam McKay and an all star cast that includes Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo Di Caprio, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Timothee Chamalet, Cate Blanchett, Ariana Grande and many more.

The film starts with astrology student Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) discovering a new star. However, her teacher Professor Randall Mindy (Leonardo Di Caprio) discovers that this new star is actually a comet and is heading on a crash course towards Earth.

He calculates that it has the ability to wipe out the entire human race when it is predicted to hit in six months.

They immediately seek an audience President Janie Orlean (Meryl Streep) at the Whitehouse. However the President's response to this is to ‘sit quietly and assess’.

Her son Jason (Jonah Hill, and a hilarious representation of Donald Trump Jr), who is also Chief of Staff, also responds by saying ‘it’s just not dope’ and ridicules Kate for her mullet.

Even when their story breaks the news , the public are more interested in the breakup between pop star Riley Bina (Ariana Grande) and DJ Chello (cameoed by Kid Cudi).

After being rebuffed by the Whitehouse, Mindy and Kate decide to take their evidence to a national chat show. But they get a similar response and Mindy is seen as a sex symbol (being dubbed as ‘the world's sexiest scientist’ by show co-host Brie, played by Cate Blanchett (they later end up having an affair).

With Kate's face becoming instantly recognisable as a meme (‘we’re all going to fucking die’) which goes viral.

An alternative title for the film could be The Sexy Scientist, The Mullet and The Money-Grabbing Republicans.

It's a cleverly played out comment on society, which often leaves the audience laughing and feeling completely bonkers, but tinged with the tragic irony is that it holds up a mirror to our dependence to mobile phones.

When they reality finally strikes home with the Government, their nuke launch to blast the comet off course is cancelled as they leave Earth's atmosphere, because cell phone oligarch Peter Isherwell (Mark Rylance) discovers there's a trillion dollars worth of raw materials in it, which he wants to mine.

Who would have thought we would laugh so hard at a film that depicts the end of humanity, especially when it points out exactly what's wrong with our planet, which is our attitude towards how we look after it.

Strikingly relevant for today’s world in regards to climate change and the pandemic, and who we choose to listen to, scientists or politicians or the Elon Musks of the world.

This satire delivers on both a comedic and dramatic levels, as well as making a complete mockery of US politics, especially the Republicans (‘the Administration’s attitude to poor people is that they should choose better lottery numbers’).

Although it would have been a joy to see this film on the big-screen, you can watch it as many times as you like on Netflix. One word of advice - don’t skip the credits at the end.

Ultimately, it is a good laugh, and this is what makes it magical.

Purple Revolver rating 4/5


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