If anything, the last year has shown us how self-destructive the human species can be. We certainly have displayed our short comings in many ways, especially with climate change and Covid, but would we step up to the plate if a huge comet was heading our way? Find out in my review of Don’t Look Up.
Plot with Spoilers
Don’t Look Up is a star-packed science fiction satire written, produced, and directed by Adam McKay. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence. Rob Morgan, Tyler Perry, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Melanie Jayne Lynskey, and Mark Rylance star in the film that tells the story about a planet killing comet on a collision course with Earth… but you can substitute the Covid pandemic, and the former Trump administration into the mix because of the many similarities.
The film begins when Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence), a graduate student of astronomy at Michigan State University, discovers a huge comet heading towards our planet. This comet is larger than the one that destroyed the dinosaurs. After going over her calculations, she informs her professor, Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) that impact will take place in six months. This is an extinction scenario with little or no solutions. Mild mannered Dr. Mindy quickly contacts the head of Planetary Defense, Dr. Teddy Oglethorpe (Rob Morgan) in order to get an audience with President Janie Orlean (Meryl Streep). Too concerned with her involvement is a sex scandal, and her low public approval, President Orlean and her son/Chief of Staff, Jason (Jonah Hill) make light of the meeting, then warn the scientists to keep quiet about the comet.
Hoping to warn the world with hopes that the greatest minds can come up with a solution, Dibiasky and Mindy appear on a morning talk show. The hosts, Jack Bremmer (Tyler Perry) and Brie Evantee (Cate Blanchett), are more interested in the break-up of a hip-hop star with pop singer, Riley B (Ariana Grande), than with real life situations.
Dibiasky is made to look like a fool by the media, while Mindy abandons his wife (Melanie Lynskey) and family after he falls under the spell of Brie. When President Orlean is forced to address the threat, she ignores the scientists and puts the mission of saving the planet into the hands of billionaire cell-phone tycoon Peter Isherwell (Mark Rylance). Isherwell’s plan to send rockets into space to blow up the meteor is cancelled when Isherwell discovers that he can get richer by mining the precious minerals on the comet.
I truly enjoyed Don’t Look Up, even with the dark subject matter of total extinction of humanity. Events that happen in the film are quite believable, especially after seeing how our country deals with climate change, elections, a pandemic, and fake news. It’s like holding up a mirror…and it isn’t a pretty sight.
The reviews for Don’t Look Up have not been kind, but don’t pay attention to them. You need to watch this film. Maybe the bad reviews are because the film hits too close to home, but after seeing how our leaders have dealt with school shootings, race riots, police abuse, masking wars, and abortion and voting rights…I found Don’t Look Up to be a refreshing and truthful satire.
I was laughing through most of the film, until the end that is, when I found myself crying. We are living through our own apocalypse with this Covid pandemic that just won’t go away because we’d rather listen to talk show hosts instead of scientists. This division between us became more palpable as I watched the film. My tears were for what was, and unfortunately what might be, if there is ever a major threat to humanity. I had to keep reminding myself that this was, after all, a comedy… but the message that stayed with me was that humanity is royally fucked.
You can catch Don’t Look Up on Netflix.