Nerdlocker Movie Review: Don’t Look Up


“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” – Mark Twain

In 2015 Adam McKay wrote and directed The Big Short, a semi-serious but unwaveringly honest look at the 2000’s market crash from the perspective of those who didn’t yet fully comprehend the depths of corruption that plagued the housing market. I make mention of it still possessing a comedic side despite all the awfulness it showcases because now in 2021 we have what I would consider to be a kind of fairytale relative to that film called Don’t Look Up. If The Big Short is a dipping of the toe into the nonsense that is American consumerism and political corruption and ineptitude then Don’t Look Up is a full blown cannonball into the deep end all while wearing a speedo and strap-on simultaneously as the Star Spangled Banner plays in the background because ‘Murrica! It’s batshit crazy and I enjoyed every minute of it. But I promise, not everyone will.

Adam McKay kind of poked the proverbial bear with The Big Short and now with Don’t Look Up it’s a boxing match with the same bear while covered in honey. In other words any apprehension he may have felt while making The Big Short, any doubts he might have held, he let it all go for his latest comedy/drama(ish) hybrid circus that Don’t Look Up certainly is. This time however his story is completely in the land of make-believe as he takes on the genre of comedic disaster movie. Make no mistake though, this is a searing fantastical look at modern politics and their… let’s call them shortcomings amid a crisis. If you were to ask me for the most basic but encapsulating description of this movie I’d tell you to think about the pandemic we are currently never leaving behind and replace virus with world ending comet and you get the idea.

Everything else in the film is basically just the same as our reality where a certain group (cult) has reacted to the pandemic and the vaccines as if it were another Holocaust and they’re the Jews (That’s not even an exaggeration). Actually they act with a completely calm and calculated approach always in the realm of reasonable give and take of course. Hahaha!!! I’m just yanking your chain. They lose what is left of their everloving minds as they scream that everything is a scam and how they are somehow the smart ones in the room. Sound familiar?

Don’t Look Up is about scientists trying to inform non-scientists about something they, as scientists, would clearly know more about but everyone else in the room disagrees with the idea that anyone could possibly be smarter than them; them being the non-scientists of course. Instead of a world changing virus the scientists of this satirical but reality rooted comedy have discovered a world ending event in the form of a comet heading directly for planet Earth.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence star as those scientists banging their heads against a wall trying to explain the severity of their world-altering revelation to a group of politically stunted morons who just so happen to be in the most powerful office on the planet. (Like Fauci explaining the virus to Drumpf) Will they do anything within their considerable amount of power to prevent or help the situation? Of course not. So this is when the scientists have to circumvent the dummies in the oval office and leak the news to the entire world. This then creates a situation of panic and doubt as everyone loses their shit.

If you’ve paid any attention to the past two plus years you will understand most of the jokes and jabs this movie takes at the expense of a group that considers brushing their teeth as a mere suggestion rather than genuine medical advice.

Don’t Look Up is one of the most insane but honest films I’ve seen in a long time. So much of it is purely made up hokem storytelling but is always inspired by true events, particularly of the last few years. DiCaprio and Lawrence are the lawless, punk versions that Fauci and his peers wish they could be like in the public eye. They’re brash and brutally honest in the face of unfathomable stupidity. It is, much like The Big Short, somehow all at once hilarious and infuriating. It makes jokes and follows it up with, “Well, are we wrong?” And no, no they are not and that’s upsetting. Funny, but maddening.

The very title Don’t Look Up is a political chant screamed by the lunatics that believe the comet, literally visible in the sky, is a hoax and that looking up is the opposite of Patriot behavior. Seriously, remove any mention of comet and replace it with Covid and you’d have basically the same movie; with the exception of some obvious story elements that present themselves as you watch the film.

Don’t Look Up is a damning but hilarious look at how we’d likely react as a country to the news that the world is about to end violently. It can make you feel at times hopeful with such brilliant minds in our defense but it will undoubtedly leave you feeling a bit judgemental of the human race and just how far we have fallen in the last twenty years.

As a fan of Adam McKay I felt his presence every step of the way. His editing and quick zooms are unmistakable. I believe his way of filmmaking is unique to him as something only he can pull off coherently much in the same way Paul Greengrass is the only one capable of competent camera work while shaking the hell out of the image. You can see his influence in The Big Short, Vice and the brilliant HBO series Succession. Don’t Look Up is McKay’s go for broke effort that can feel at times heavy handed but undeniably purpose propelled in his desire to convey everything he’s trying to say in such a manic, chaotic manner. What that message is will likely piss a lot of people off and that’s just funny to me. Then again the people he’s making fun of might be too stupid to realize he’s talking about them. Time will tell.

Rated R For: language throughout, some sexual content, graphic nudity and drug content
Runtime: 138 minutes
After Credits Scene: Yes. Mid-credits as well.
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill
Directed By: Adam McKay

Out of 10 Nerdskulls
Story: 8/ Acting: 8.5/ Directing: 9/ Visuals: 8
OVERALL: 8.5 Nerdskulls

Buy to Own: Yes. Streaming on Netflix, December 24th.

Check out the trailer below:


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Chase Gifford

http://www.nerdlocker.com

"Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world"-Jean-Luc Godard