Don't Look Up movie poster
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Don't Look Up
Don't Look Up movie poster

Don't Look Up Movie Review

A clever 90-minute satire that is unfortunately two-and-a-half hours long, Don’t Look Up is Adam McKay’s latest attempt to convince himself he’s a better filmmaker than he actually is.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence play two astronomers who discover a giant comet that is going to smash into Earth. They also discover that when the President of the United States (Meryl Streep) is a science-denying idiot who will do anything to improve her poll numbers, no one on the planet is safe.

A takedown of Trump, his supporters, the media, and pop culture in general, Don’t Look Up boasts an amusingly entertaining first hour following by over an hour of increasingly tedious storytelling. It may be McKay’s sharpest satire yet, but sharp doesn’t necessarily translate to entertaining.

DiCaprio is really good, and yet for an actor known for only picking the best of projects, the film and role feel somewhat beneath him. He’s an underappreciated comedic talent and certainly knows where to flex the funny, but the material simply doesn’t give him much to chew on. Lawrence, too, is good, but equally constrained by a one-note character who ultimately is left stranded in her own film. Streep, meanwhile, appears to be having a blast in a rare villainous role.

Despite the movie’s shortcomings, there’s a lot to like. As a satire, the movie properly keeps its aim on the idiocy of science denial, and as a whole it’s an epic criticism of the current political climate. McKay injects several funny bits, especially in the early going.

The issue is simply that the joke wears out its welcome long before the end credits. Once you figure out the film’s beat, McKay doesn’t have a lot more to say. The movie doesn’t entirely lose its entertainment value, but you reach a point where you want to shout “I get it, I get it” and move on with your life.

Don’t Look Up has a great premise, but as with all of McKay’s recent ventures, it presents itself as more profound as it actually is. The presence of DiCaprio and to a lesser degree Lawrence only adds to the aura that this should be a top-grade experience, but there’s nothing explosive—aside from a deadly comet—to be found here.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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