New movie review: ‘Don’t Look Up’

The new science fiction movie “Don’t Look Up” by Adam McKay is too soon for its time.

The movie starred two astronomers, Leonardo DiCaprio as Dr. Randall Mindy, and Jennifer Lawrence as Kate Dibinsky, who attempted to convince the world of a comet headed straight towards the earth.

Dr. Randall and Kate discovered a comet and confirmed that it would collide with earth in roughly six months, causing the entire planet to go extinct on impact. The team had their discovery confirmed by NASA, but when discussing it with the president of the U.S. it did not go over well.

After the failed attempt to involve the government, the two took matters into their own hands to share the news with the world.

Before watching the movie, I didn’t know much of the content and theme it would be referencing. All I knew was that the movie was science fiction (a type of movie I enjoy.)

The movie touched on topics I did not expect, which threw off my expectations of the film. “Don’t Look Up” creates a divisive society: those who believe the scientists and those who do not.

This division grows to many extremes as the movie goes on, including big political rallies with the president that resemble those of Donald Trump during his 2020 campaign.

The movie shows the division our society saw during the election of 2020, for better or worse. The divisive election having recently occurred and the COVID-19 pandemic continuing that division, the movie made me lose some hope in our society.

It brought up emotions that I felt during the last two years during the election and the pandemic where I watched the division in our society grow. If the movie came out later, primarily after the pandemic ended or at least came to more of a close, I believe it would have gone over better.

The movie did well its opening weekend on Netflix and has even won some awards, but more time would have allowed it to be received better by its audience. The satire does, however, complete its task; it touches on societal norms and in many ways makes viewers feel uncomfortable.

Despite the political vibes of the movie, it does make fun of both sides, which is something I appreciated. The president Janie Orlean, played by Meryl Streep, in many ways resembles Hillary Clinton in the way she makes decisions and dresses but in other ways, she is portrayed more like Donald Trump. There are scenes in the movie of her “rallying” her political allies, wearing a ball cap, and pointing toward people as Trump did.

The satire in this movie is strong and even well-executed but I find it needed more time from the events and people it was making fun of before it came out. Despite the way the humor pokes fun at the recent events, the film was scheduled to be recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic began, it was only delayed because of the pandemic.

If you look past the surface level humor, there is an underlying tone towards global warming and the way our culture reacts to how things affect our planet (like the comet).

But this was lost in translation with the political satire being so charged throughout the piece.

With more time, I think the piece’s satire would have been funnier and the focus of global warming and pollution would have been more noticeable, bringing the correct attention to what the movie was attempting to focus on.

Either way, I would recommend watching the movie to see the way the satire pokes fun at the way people act nowadays.

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