• Gareth Crook

Don’t Look Up (2021) - 8/10

A dramatic sci-fi comedy, about scientists prophesying the end of the world. This feels oddly on the nose for 2022. Netflix films have been patchy at best but you know what, this is good, maybe even great. No, good. Dr Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) is clueless about the world, but good with astrophysics. His student Kate (Jennifer Lawrence) has discovered a bloody big comet that’s headed to earth, estimated to kill us all in 6 months. It could go either way. A cheesy disaster movie or a rather fun comedic romp poking fun at the situation, society, everything! It’s not Armageddon. Our poor scientists are convinced we’re all goosed, but Nixon idolising President Orlean (Meryl Streep) and her Chief of Staff son (Jonah Hill) are dismissive. So Mindy and Kate undertake a media tour to inform the planet it’s time to get their affairs in order. Instead what they face is more ‘oh it’ll be fine, don’t listen to the scientists’. I imagine if you’re a scientist watching this, it might strike oddly close to home. Everyone is funny, probably no one more than DiCaprio who’s struggling both with the magnitude of impending events and his social awkwardness, but the comedy masks some serious social commentary about the state of the world. Celebrity culture, electioneering. We’re surrounded by morons. It’s great satire, great fun. The world we live in is ridiculous. This film is ridiculous, but intentionally so. This is probably the best thing I’ve seen Lawrence in. She gets some of the best lines too. My favourite delivered with eyes locked on President Streep “So basically what you’re saying is, you’re about to lose the midterms because you got caught sending pictures of your cooch to your porn-star sheriff boyfriend. So now it’s to your advantage to act on the comet”. Cue some yeehaw USA shit, mixed with some tech billionaire farce (Mark Rylance is excellent) that surely has the audience looking forward to the comet hitting as soon as possible. The more I watch, the more I like it and come the exceptionally cathartic finale I’m really quite amazed. It’s like Sasha Baron Cohen directing Team America, staring Leslie Neilson. Even Timothée Chalamet turns up and is good… I know! The device here might be a comet, but substitute something we are dealing with and suddenly this isn’t so funny. You can look at this through your own eyes, but choose carefully.


8/10