I know that I’m probably a little tardy to the party, but mom and I watched the movie “Don’t Look Up” this weekend. And let me just say- I 1000% loved this movie! And it made my tummy oogy the entire time, which really goes to show how well it’s done.
Fuck is it an uncomfortable movie to watch!
Thankfully, I had zero clue what the movie was about going into it or I probably wouldn’t have watched it. All I knew was that it had a “cast of thousands” with tons of big names. Which, let’s be honest, can be a good or bad thing. In this case I think it worked.
In case you don’t know what it’s about: two astronomers (Di Caprio and Lawrence) discover a new comet and calculate that it’s on a collision course with earth. They then have to go on a media tour to basically get the world to believe the science, which turns out to be a hard sell.
Now, if I’d have seen the whole Armageddon/Deep Impact/Greenland plot point, I would have never watched the movie. I don’t like “disaster movies” as a genre and I really don’t like “earth extinction” movies. But this movie is really SO MUCH MORE than this.
Using the “comet/life extinction” trope was a perfect choice for this film. Because this film is about the extinction of humans because of our own folly as it surrounds media. The whole thing is a fucking brilliant allegory to our current world- right now. So much so, that it is downright uncomfortable to watch because it hits so close to home.
The comet trope is just the impetus. It needed to be an extinction event so big and important that it should get everyone’s attention immediately and start a survival plan. Only it doesn’t. Because the world is so self absorbed and beholden to media and their phones and the latest celeb gossip that people don’t believe it or just don’t care.
From the vilification of the scientists on social media, to media trying to spin their message for “views” to the president not acting on the comet until it was “politically expedient” to the Gates/Bezos character trying to get rich off the comet minerals— it’s all absolutely crazy. And all too real.
The vapid Entertainment Tonight show and hosts are perfect. The Trumpesque president is perfect. The deniers chanting “DON’T LOOK UP!” a la “stop the steal” is perfect. And a fucking pop princess doing a song to “highlight comet awareness” is just a goddamn cherry on the sundae.
And don’t get me started on the whole “phone, social media, and data mining” commentary of the movie. Jesus is that whole thing scary accurate!
“Don’t Look Up” takes the craziness of the past decade (and the last 5 years especially) and ramps the crazy to 11 to highlight just how fucking crazy our world is— and how much worse it could get if we let this shit continue.
Sure it’s divided the critics. Some say it’s too “messagey”, that it blames media too much. That it’s clumsy and heav-handed blah blah blah. Whatevs.
I’m telling you- it’s brilliant. It is also extremely uncomfortable to watch. Like, you will be screaming at the movie “Why aren’t you people trying to stop the comet?!?!!!?! Are you all taking crazy pills?!???!”
Seriously. The movie is still with me two days later.