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Don't Look Up (2021)

Director:
Adam McKay

COUNTRY
USA

Genre
Science Fiction/Satire

NORWEGIAN TITLE
Don't Look Up

RUNNING TIME
138 minutes

Producer:
Adam McKay
Kevin Messick

Screenwriter:
Adam McKay


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Kate Dibiasky Jennifer Lawrence ½

Dr. Randall Mindy

Leonardo DiCaprio
Dr. Teddy Oglethorpe Rob Morgan
Brie Evantee Cate Blanchett ½
Janie Orlean Meryl Streep ½
Jason Orlean Jonah Hill
Peter Isherwell Mark Rylance
Jack Bremmer Tyler Perry ½
Yule Timothée Chalamet
Colonel Benedict Drask Ron Perlman
Riley Bina Ariana Grande -
DJ Chello Scott Mescudi -
Phillip Kaj Himesh Patel -
June Mindy Melanie Lynskey -
Dan Pawketty Michael Chiklis -
US Air Force Lieutenant General Stuart Themes Paul Guilfoyle -

 

Review

Adam McKay continues his attack on his own flailing country with this timely and occasionally funny American self-criticism with lots of bite at capitalism in general and political leaders in particular. But whereas McKay helped the average Joe understand the mechanisms of subprime loans by laying bare greedy speculators in The Big Short, the satire in Don't Look Up is a lot more elitistic – and will probably leave a vapid aftertaste for many viewers. The picture draws attention to numerous dilemmas and problems the world is currently facing, some a little more contested than others, but one of the pitfalls McKay cannot avoid is that the main point he's making is both preachy and not particularly informative. We all already know that we're in a predicament concerning climate change (and arguably over-population), but we might not share McKay's view that ridiculing those who don't agree with your world-view will be the solution.

Don't Look Up is at its best when placing itself in its own line of fire and toying with archetypes (like the Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill and Mark Rylance characters) instead of the little people. As such, the parodies of SoMe, mainstream media and big tech are fun and to the point, whereas the sledgehammer ramming-it-down-your-throat satire aimed along political lines is always a hairsbreadth away from insulting. Also, it's more about stating – or shouting – the obvious than opening eyes. Despite its great effort, the film doesn't leave you with anything you didn't already have. And, much like the egocentric American culture it bashes, the film easily forgets that there are 7.7 billion other people in the world. It also fails to acknowledge the role technology and visionary innovators have played in all but every human advance, which makes the Elon Musk-ish slash Steve Jobs-ish character of Peter Isherwell weak, even though it's certainly a brilliant creation by Mr. Rylance. Like much of the film: He's hilarious, but McKay's jabbing at him is like that of a groggy boxer who can no longer see straight.

In all likelihood, humanity's problem isn't that poor people who live in trailers don't believe in climate change; the problem is that not even the people advocating the issue are really willing to give up their excessive lifestyle. And that is something this smug film fails to take into account or even discuss.

Copyright © 22.01.2022 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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