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Review: Don’t Look Up (2021)

Review: Don’t Look Up (2021)

Don’t Look Up (2021)

Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up (2021) is a hilarious yet extremely concerning portrayal of where society seems to be headed amid extreme polarization of politics, the threat of climate change, and distrust of the government.

When you Google the film, the description reads: ‘the line between reality and imagination gets blurred for a writer suffering from depression.’ There’s something about this film that screams precisely that. If you’re a survivor of Trump’s American, like me, prepare to experience this film with an extra layer of irony. Specific points of this film hit close to home as they were once our reality. The film’s few flaws include lousy editing complete with random stock image montages, which lose the audience and feel jarringly out of place. Still, these flaws are only minor setbacks in an overall powerhouse of a film.

The film’s biggest strength is its massive amount of star quality: Leonardo Dicaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Timothee Chalamet, Chris Evans, Ariana Grande, Meryl Streep, Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill, Kid Cudi, and even more set this film up with amazing chemistry. Even if it is just from the irony of seeing some of your favourites together in such an unlikely scenario.

Satire drives the film. It feels like a two-hour long Saturday Night Live sketch because every time you laugh at a character being ridiculous, you’re met with the jarring feeling of remembering it’s our reality. Don’t Look Up also has a strong soundtrack, with songs from Wu-Tang Clan, George Strait, The Allman Brothers Band, Bon Iver and even original music from Ariana Grande. Overall, the film gives an believable vision of what would happened in an apocalyptic scenario presented to the United States. If you’re looking to think about our current status as a society, particularly as a survivor of the Trump era and anti-science movements, this is an excellent film. The film is controversial. It has drawn a lot of negative feedback but most of the hate bears a resemblance to the oblivious thinking that the movie directly mocks.

Don’t Look Up’s bitterly satirical stance forces you to come to terms with the reality that real work has to be done. We can no longer hold out hope in our governments to deal with the crises that threaten us and, most importantly, that engaging in the polarizing political divide instead of committing to change is useless. As the film predicts, a profit-over-planet mindset is a Capitalist tool that will eventually kill us. Don’t Look Up beautifully mocks the reality we could be facing in as soon as 50 years. It leaves its audience with a cynical but not necessarily untrue prediction for the future.

Written for The Film Dispatch by  Grace LaNasa. 


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