Movie Review: “Don’t Look Up” hits too close to home

Well-acted, flawed film has viewers questioning faith in humanity, future



If “Don’t Look Up” is a reflection of our reality, we should be very concerned.

MIA PUZZO, Evergreen columnist

People love films about dystopian societies – movies like “The Hunger Games,” “The Maze Runner” and “Divergent” have risen to new heights these last years. However, society may find that Adam McKay’s Netflix satire “Don’t Look Up” is a dystopia that hits a little too close to home. 

“Don’t Look Up” is an allegorical, star-studded and clever parody of the U.S. government’s refusal to take action in the face of danger. By the end, it will leave you reconsidering your very faith in humanity.d

In the film, leading characters Randall Mindy, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, and Kate Dibiasky, played by Jennifer Lawrence, have irrefutable evidence that a comet is set to end the world in exactly six months and 14 days. 

However, in an America absurdly consumed with celebrity-worship and political gamesmanship, the government and president, played by Meryl Streep, refuse to take the complete destruction of Earth and mankind seriously. 

The government and president plan on mining the asteroid so they can use the parts to make technological devices. They mistakenly consider the comet coming to Earth as a business opportunity rather than a threat to human lives. 

Streep excellently replicates the politicians that we see today. She accurately portrays a politician’s drive to put self-preservation, glory and money over societal needs in a way that is humorous yet concerning. 

The Netflix movie is packed with many prominent and expensive names. But if you were wondering, NO, that does not inevitably give a movie five stars! “Don’t Look Up” has been met with more criticism than raves, receiving a deserving Rotten Tomatoes score of only 56%.

The casting team’s decision to pack the film with star power seems a bit hypocritical when considering the film’s overall message that celebrity idolization and social media have gone too far. One scene alone has Leonardo DiCaprio, Ariana Grande, Cate Blanchett, Tyler Perry and Jennifer Lawrence all in the same room. 

It is clear the filmmakers wanted to make something BIG. However, it makes me wonder if a less famous cast would have helped the film’s likeability by making it more relatable. 

Although the movie is supposed to critique the political and celebrity elite, it actually seems to highlight politicians, billionaires and celebrities.

What about the common public or the average American? 

It lacks commentary on those who are not always in the public eye, instead of appearing to suggest that public figures get to dictate world events because of the public’s deification of them. 

While I understand that obsession over celebrities has gone to extremes, the creators of “Don’t Look Up” may have taken the idea too far by suggesting the public has been practically brainwashed by these people.

The only relatable character in this movie is Kate, who does not fall victim to the allure of celebrity. She is the only one who actually realizes the severity of their situation and is genuinely concerned for their lives. 

While not always the best executed, “Don’t Look Up” portrays an America that would risk the total destruction of the Earth for the possibility of more power over the earth’s resources. Its commentary on selfishness and political parties is not a message that everyone is going to be willing to listen to but is a reality check that society as a whole needs to hear. 

If you have not yet watched “Don’t Look Up,” I say give it a watch. 

You will be laughing; however, I cannot guarantee you will not also be terrified or depressed about the future of America.

This film is not for optimists. If you thought society sucked already, this might just solidify it.