Title – Don’t Look Up (2021)
Director – Adam McKay (Anchorman)
Cast – Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Jonah Hill, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Tyler Perry, Timothée Chalamet, Ron Perlman
Plot – Astronomers Dr. Randall Mindy (DiCaprio) and Kate Dibiasky (Lawrence) discover a comet that is hurtling towards Earth, causing a genuine Earth destroying event, but the world refuses to pay them the attention they deserve as mankind struggles to comprehend the end drawing nigh.
“The truth is way more depressing”
Review by Eddie on 24/01/2022
About as far removed from Adam McKay’s initial works such as Anchorman and Talladega Nights as you’re likely to get, Netflix’s mammoth hit Don’t Look Up is absolutely not the comedy you may’ve expected it to be as it takes a blowtorch to humanities and in particular the United States abilities to deal with an impending disaster that threatens to destroy the world as we know it.
About as topical as you’re likely to get with Global Warming and a global pandemic prevalent in our world today, Up shares DNA with McKay’s previous two films The Big Short and Vice but keeps things absurdly real as Leonardo DiCaprio’s Dr. Randall Mindy and Jennifer Lawrence as his co-researcher Kate Dibiasky discover a comet hurtling towards the earth with the planet given 6 months notice before a likely world ending collision will take place.
Taking a flamethrower (and an RPG for good measure) to how the American media, political system and general populace deals with such depressing scenarios and possibilities, Up is unashamedly bleak as Mindy and Dibiasky continually run into brick walls trying to get their news to be taken seriously as they battle against chat shows more excited to talk about pop stars, president’s dealing with personal scandals and friends and colleagues who don’t want the bad news too be real.
Throughout this wild two hour plus journey are some great central turns from DiCaprio and Lawrence who are the films acting MVP’s, outshone only by some nice cameo like supporting turns from a gun-toting Ron Perlman and a evangelical Timothée Chalamet, but with McKay working with such a loaded ensemble and topical narrative there is a feeling that despite its wins, Up could’ve been something truly special rather than just eye-opening and imminently watchable.
Far less funny than McKay’s previous works, all of which have some seriously delicious comedic content, Up doesn’t always get things right with sub-plots involving Mindy’s relationship with Cate Blanchett’s media personality Brie Evantee or strange segments involving Ariana Grande and Kid Kudi not really amounting to much at all in the grand scheme of things and there’s large portions of the films middle stretch that feel like filler rather than killer, even if the films final 20 or so minutes is some of the more memorable cinematic spectacle we were provided in 2021.
Final Say –
Not quite the knock-out it might have been with such a cast and loaded plot, Don’t Look Up is an unexpectedly bleak Adam McKay film with some seriously intense undertones, making it good quality stuff without being anything overly special.
3 1/2 forgotten assistants out of 5