DON'T LOOK UP is directed by Adam McKay. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio Jennifer Lawrence, Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, Tyler Perry, Ron Perlman, Timothee Chalamet, Ariana Grande, Scott Mescudi, Cate Blanchett, Melanie Lynskey, and Meryl Streep.
Astronomers Randall Mindy and Kate Dibiasky discover a comet on a collision course with Earth, with their research proving it'll strike the planet in six months, creating cataclysms and widespread destruction, possibly ending all life! When they're initially shunned by the President of the United States and her cabinet, the twosome team up with Dr. Oglethorpe of NASA to try and spread the word to the world's biggest and most popular media outlets. But in a world obsessed with corporate greed, celebrity tabloids, and internet memes, will they have any chance of making believers of a divided world?
I love satire and a good black comedy. DON'T LOOK UP was, admittedly, a movie I hadn't even heard of prior to my being invited to the press screening of it. I was immediately interested largely thanks to the cast and crew involved, and a satire of the apocalypse and the crazy times we live in certainly sounded like something worth seeing. The cast and performances are great, but the pacing struggles and the movie tries too hard to get its point across. When it succeeds, DON'T LOOK UP is one of the funniest movies of the year with hard-hitting satire ranging from the bleak to the outright hilarious. At its worst, it's over-plotted, over-casted, and half an hour longer than any comedic film should be.
Where I absolutely won't argue with DON'T LOOK UP is its casting. Lawrence and DiCaprio are fantastic as the leads; a pair of scientists struggling to get their point across in a world more interested in other topics despite their impending destruction. Great supporting performances include Meryl Streep as a cynical and disillusioned President of the United States, Jonah Hall as her son who also happens to be Secretary of State, and countless others. It's an all-star cast, and everyone's perfect for their role.
The movie mostly succeeds with its black comedy tone. Despite the dark subject matter, the movie hits close to home, depicting a world in which people are far more interested in celebrity tabloid news, pop stars, social media, and affairs. The movie's depictions of politicians saving face following their misdeeds and the dangers of corporate greed are shockingly accurate and relevant, meaning it's a movie that covers both ends of the spectrum and does so surprisingly well.
Not every single element works out perfectly in the movie, however. The running time is nearly two-and-a-half hours! For any comedy, this is far too long, and the movie is running on fumes in places with a relentless attempt to get its point across. There are many characters and subplots that could easily have been removed from the movie with no real loss of substance. At times the movie seems to have a bit of an identity crisis with its inconsistencies and the like. You'll definitely like a lot of DON'T LOOK UP, but don't be surprised if you find yourself looking down at your watch a few times. At times it feels like a really expensive SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE sketch, for better or worse.
I liked DON'T LOOK UP, but wanted to love it. The cast is fantastic and some of the black comedy elements and satire are sharp and hard-hitting, but it does suffer in the pacing department with an overlong runtime. It's worth watching once, and it'll give you some good laughs, but I doubt it's something I'll watch again. Moderately recommended.