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Don't Look Up Movie Review

Don't Look Up Movie Review
Walking out of a screening with a positive response to "Don't Look Up," the new film from writer-director Adam McKay, was one of my biggest movie-going surprises of 2021.

In 2015, McKay made a sharp detour from goofy Will Farrell comedies ("The Other Guys," "Anchorman" and "Step Brothers") to movies that caught Oscar's eye. "The Big Short" was nominated for several Academy Awards, winning McKay one for Best Adapted Screenplay, while his follow-up, the Dick Cheney movie "Vice," was also nominated for Best Picture, among others. Both films have their supporters, but there was a loathsome condescension to each of those movies that made them smug and off-putting. Is that gone from his latest? Not totally, but McKay glides through shifting tones much more impressively in "Don't Look Up" than he did in his previous efforts.

"Don't Look Up" doesn't waste any time getting things moving. One evening, Ph.D candidate Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) spots a comet on her radar, and it's headed for Earth at a rapid pace. She alerts Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio), who insists they must raise alarm bells immediately because the size of the comet is certain to destroy the planet. They are invited to the White House to discuss with President Janie Orlean (Meryl Streep), but are constantly shoved off by her son and Chief of Staff Jason (Jonah Hill), who insists she's too busy to talk about the Earth's looming demise.

Randall and Kate finally get face time with the president, who can't quite force herself to care about anything they are telling her. What she wants to know is if the comet will hurt or help her party's chances in the upcoming midterms. Randall and Kate decide to take warning the country into their own hands and go on a media tour to try and get the word out. Their regular appearances on a tv show hosted by Brie Evantee (Cate Blanchett) and Jack Bremmer (Tyler Perry) are usually shoehorned in between news about a celebrity couple - played by Ariana Grande and Kid Cudi - breaking up or getting back together.

"Don't Look Up" is definitely McKay's plea to his audience to accept the climate crisis as exactly that: a crisis. The problem with McKay's work is that he plays to an audience that is likely already politically on his side. The movie doesn't harp on the stark democrat-versus-republican divide we see in our country today, but it also isn't subtle as to whose side it is on. A running theme in "Don't Look Up" is that we live in a world where an entire faction of the population denies the importance of science and facts, which is what the news of the comet causes. Sound like any recent, ongoing, never-ending and completely exhausting events?

The movie dances right on the edge of being a sermon and while some might like a movie to play to their politics, it's not a necessity, personally speaking. Movies are supposed to challenge us and put us on paths we don't take on a day-to-day basis.

The movie's strength is how it navigates between a screwball political satire and an end of the world thriller. McKay's movies are blunt, and he's never guided them with ease - despite what his two nominations for Best Director might lead you to believe. However, McKay shows some comfort here in juggling tones with a stronger hand. Not everything in "Don't Look Up" works - there are few subplots that could be taken out and would leave the movie unchanged - but it moves well for two-and-a-half hours.

DiCaprio and Lawrence, who gets to deliver a funny running joke in the movie, have a great rapport; and Streep is having the time of her life playing a less-than-stellar president. Rob Morgan is a standout in the supporting cast as a scientist working with Randall and Kate, trying to connect them to the people they need to speak to about such a cataclysmic event. The rest of the all-star cast includes Timothee Chalamet as an introspective skateboarder, Mark Rylance as a strange tech billionaire, and Melanie Lynskey who gets some lovely moments as Randall's wife June.

A movie about an apocalyptic event that spurs a culture war might sound exasperating right now, and that's completely understandable. We live in maddening times. "Don't Look Up" is very much about How We Live Now, but it's told much more gracefully than McKay has ever done with the real-world issue films he has shifted to since leaving studio comedies. "Don't Look Up" tries to find some humor in the ridiculousness of today, and it's successful in doing just that.

"Don't Look Up" will begin a theatrical run on Dec. 10 and debut on Netflix Dec. 24.

Don't Look Up Movie Review By Matthew Passantino 

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Don't Look Up Movie Review Don't Look Up Movie Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Sunday, December 12, 2021 Rating: 5

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