“Don’t Look Up” review: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence feature scathing satire on climate change that sometimes gets out of hand

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Basically, writer-director Adam McKay (who wrote the script with journalist / activist David Sirota) delivers a very sharp treatise on the dysfunctional state of politics and the media today, in which everyone is so short-sighted. that he is unable to focus on an existential threat. The title reflects the inevitable end point of this, with an approach of near death.
The window to this nonsense comes when astronomy professor Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his doctorate. Student Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) discovers the comet, whose trajectory will lead to a direct collision with Earth in just over six months.

Understandably alarmed, their conclusions quickly reach the White House, where the President (Meryl Streep, unsupported by her character’s ridicule) is too concerned about her endangered Supreme Court choice to focus on what Randall describes. as an extinction level event. After unsuccessful back and forths, she concludes that they will “sit down and assess” the situation.

From there, “Don’t Look Up” jumps into the race with a scathing indictment on everything to do with our media and political ecosystem, from the cheerful news show (hosted by Tyler Perry and Cate Blanchett, se standing out as particularly self-absorbed TV anchors) to websites concerned about traffic and social media memes.

McKay and Sirota deliver a precise attack on how easily people are distracted (especially in the media), focusing on Kate’s hair and clothes and ignoring the substance of her post.

Attempts to make this point, however, have veered in different directions, from a tech billionaire (Mark Rylance, adopting a not this world accent) who sees opportunities to cash in on the comet’s natural resources to the CEO of the President. staff (Jonah Hill), who sees the threat only in terms of the impact on the midterm elections.

Still, “Don’t Look Up” continues to be distracted, in part thanks to the accumulation of celebrities in minor roles (witnessing the late entry of Timothée Chalamet for no particular reason) and the pursuit of subplots that continue the tension over whether these imperfect leaders will find the courage and sobriety to take action.

DiCaprio (whose climate change activism included producing the documentary “Ice on Fire”) and Lawrence are both pretty good, but many of the other bold names essentially serve as flashy and somewhat unnecessary dress-up.
McKay’s “The Big Short” and “Vice” represent its most obvious track record of attacking large institutions in a grim and satirical manner, but the film also owes “Dr. Strangelove”, casting its net more wide with more (indeed, the higher stakes). The title certainly does a lot of work, capturing the dominant response to the troublesome news.

As was clearly his intention, “Don’t Look Up” uses satire to stimulate a conversation about potentially ignoring a seizure until it’s too late. It’s a sobering message, but it comes to us through the lens of an uneven film.

“Don’t Look Up” premieres December 10 in select theaters and December 24 on Netflix. It is classified R.


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