Image source: Flickr (Nasa)

Film Review: Don’t Look Up

Don’t Look Up, Adam Mckay’s new comedy starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence and Meryl Streep, has hit Netflix.

The film depicts the very real scenario of a large comet plummeting towards Earth, and the efforts of scientists and governments to overcome this large obstacle.

With a stellar ensemble cast, a solid concept and a renowned director should a good film right? Well let’s find out.

Story

For the first half of the film, the story is predictable. The comet is discovered, the President is informed, people aren’t told, then they are, and the President comes up with a plan to knock the asteroid off course and everyone lives happily after…

Except, the story takes a different turn. As minerals are discovered on the comet, human selfishness takes over as the scientists and the President’s loyal voters march against each other. Materialism and pettiness serve as distractions to the incoming extinction.

At times, the Trumpiness of the President and all her lackeys is a bit on the nose, especially the red hats. The blatant disregard for reason and science, does make a bit of a political statement. Whilst not unwelcome in some films, the inclusion of political ideology feels extreme and unnecessary, as if the comedy is running out of story beats.

Source: Unsplash

There are subtle lines of dialogue and camera shots which shine light on the fruitily of some things, showing our dependence on social media, technology and materialism.

The overarching themes of family, feelings, and that we should strive to make ourselves happy, serve as welcome reminders to what is important, a note that is poignant amongst a backdrop of the COVID pandemic.

However, on the whole the story is tightly knit, correctly paced and well-written. The characters actions are believable and funny, which I suppose is the main thing needed in a comedy film.

Cast

The cast is excellent.

DiCaprio is outstanding in his role as shy, but brilliant Dr. Mindy – a role in which he shines.

Jennifer Lawrence is equally as amazing as Kate Dibiasky, who unfortunately has the duty of having humanities end named after them.

Source: Don’t Look Up Instagram

The supporting cast do a good job of supporting the cast including the underused Timothee Chalamet who shines as the religious skater Yule.

Blemishes on the cast include Jonah Hill who embraces the rich mummy’s boy too much, takes the brief too seriously, and just feels off. The other is Grande, who appears as Riley Bina, a global hip-hop star with a poor taste in men. If that sounds like Ariana Grande in herself, then you’d be correct, she would have been better off making a cameo rather than trying to return to acting.

Summary

In summary, the film is solid.

It hits all the right notes for good laughs whilst keeping a balance of comedy and larger themes. At over two hours though, some of the fat could have been trimmed, to allow a slicker story. With edits to the cast, this film could go down as a classic dark comedy, but will unfortunately have to resign itself to a one-time watch

Verdict: Decent, 6/10

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