Film Review: Don’t Look Up (2021)

Don’t Look Up has to be the most disappointing film of 2021. With some of the best actors in Hollywood, Adam McKay the director of Vice and the Big Short and an important and timely premise it promised to be the Dr. Strangelove of our time. I wanted to love this film. How did it end up so horribly wrong? In one of my all time fav films, the 1964 black comedy masterpiece Dr. Strangelove, Kubrick addressed one of the most dire issues of the time: mutually assured destruction through nuclear war between the US and Russia, through comedy. The film artfully reduced the two opposing superpowers into squabbling ego driven children, loaded with dark political satire, a comedy of errors that never lost sight of what was really at stake, with one of the best endings in film history. Hoping to be the Strangelove of our time McKay’s vision of our modern world faced with the impending annihilation from an asteroid which is a metaphor for our global inaction on climate change. Instead of biting political satire we get a insufferable movie long joke that gets less and less funny. Trivialising the dire climate change to the point of a cartoon with a totally ridiculous ending. The brilliant cast cannot save the film from its heavy handed metaphor, cynicism and tritness. It revels in its own ugliness and itself becomes part of the endless culture war it portrays. The people who need change their beliefs and behaviours won’t watch this film as it’s smugness and depiction of them will turn them off. And for the rest of us who actually care about the situation it leaves us with a hollow joke that isn’t funny or true. Cheap, crass, cynical and most depressing of all a great missed opportunity. 5/10

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