Don’t Look Up by Adam McKay & David Sirota [7/10]

A courageous, take-no-prisoners, madcap satire on climate change, “Don’t Look Up” kicks off brilliantly from the outset, resetting the frame to something even more certain than our current climate emergency. When astronomer Randall Mindy (played convincingly by Leonardo DiCaprio) and his student, Kate Dibiasky (another strong performance from Jennifer Lawrence) observe a planet-destroying comet six months out from taking out Earth, they sound the alarm. Thrust into a world of vacuous cable news hosts (played with glee by Tyler Perry and Cate Blanchett), a Trumpesque president (Meryl Street nails this role), and a tech billionaire (Mark Rylance), the pair encounters ever means of deflection and inaction that our climate scientist heroes have faced for over two decades. Adam McKay’s direction is brisk and sure-handed, the cinematography works well, and the ending has some nice, quasi-sentimental touches that try to lift the film out of crazy mode. Don’t Look Up has much to offer and is salutary, easy viewing for anyone with a brain and a heart in 2021. I just wish the jokes amused me more and the antics were more intelligently focused. Overall: worth watching but a missed opportunity.

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