In a great sci-fi tradition, “Don’t Look Up” uses a disaster film frame as a metaphor for a reality-based crisis, with a huge comet hurtling toward Earth as a substitute for indifference to address climate change.
However, this star-studded and extremely provocative satire sometimes deviates from its course, partially undermining its admirable qualities with the breadth of its tone. In essence, writer-director Adam McKay (who wrote the script with journalist and activist David Sirota) offers a very timely treatise on the dysfunctional state of politics and the media today, in which everyone is so shortsighted they can’t focus. on a topic. existential threat. The title reflects the inevitable end point of that, with a focus on burying your head in the sand for impending doom.
The window to that absurdity comes when astronomy professor Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his Ph.D. Student Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) discovers the comet, whose trajectory will lead to a direct collision with Earth in just over six months. Understandably alarmed, their findings quickly reach the White House, where the President (Meryl Streep, ill served by her character’s ridiculousness) is too preoccupied with her endangered election to the Supreme Court to focus on what Randall describes as an extinction level event.
After going back and forth unsuccessfully, she concludes that they will “stand still and assess” the situation.
From there, “Don’t Look Up” launches into the races with a scathing indictment of all things related to our media and our political ecosystem, from the Happy Talk news show (hosted by Tyler Perry and Cate Blanchett, standing out especially as absorbed TV presenters) to websites concerned about traffic and social media memes. McKay and Sirota launch a direct attack on the ease with which people are distracted (especially in the media).
Noticing Kate’s hair and clothing and ignoring the gist of her message. Attempts to make that point, however, are hurtling wildly in different directions, from a tech billionaire (Mark Rylance, who adopts an out-of-this-world accent) seeing opportunities to tap into the comet’s natural resources to the chief operating officer of the president. staff (Jonah Hill), who can only see the threat in terms of how it might affect the midterm elections.