Don't Look Up

In theaters Dec. 10 and streaming on Netflix Dec. 24

THE PLOT:

Professor Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DeCaprio) and PhD candidate Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) inadvertently discover that a “planet killing” comet is heading for Earth. The impact is estimated to be six months from now.

Notifying NASA, Dr. Mindy and PhD candidate Dibiasky are thrust into the obstacle course of politics, entertainment and social media as they attempt to warn mankind of their impending demise – with little success.

KENT’S TAKE:

“Don’t Look Up” is a smart satire touching on the state of our society, using a global event as the backdrop and catalyst to magnify the ridiculousness.

Dr. Mindy and his assistant Kate Dibiasky are level-headed scientists who follow the numbers, and their numbers show that a huge comet is heading toward Earth and will make impact in 6 months and 14 days.

As NASA crunches their numbers and come up with the same conclusion they are brought to the White House where President Janie Orlean (Meryl Streep) and her Chief-of-Staff and son Jason Orlean (Jonah Hill) decide that this would not help their polling numbers, so they decide to “sit tight” and have “Ivy Leaguers” look at things.

This initial encounter with self-serving bureaucracy is a perfect launch pad for this hilarious film. Showing the ridiculousness of today’s society, writer/director Adam McKay skewers politics and tribalism, social media, lack of morals and the media cycle to name a few. As Dr. Mindy and Kate Dibiasky try to get the word out on television talk shows, children’s shows, concerts, etc. they find that our society is so self-absorbed that we couldn’t care less about our demise.

As comedy used to be used to broach sensitive subjects, this film also raises awareness of the ridiculousness of our world and what our society has become in a very entertaining way. As Dr. Mindy becomes a media darling, he loses his way/focus, while Dibiasky, who is less media-savvy is relegated out of the spotlight and labeled a pariah.

Writer/director Adam McKay skillfully presents a visual monologue on the state of our society. This is a prequel to the film “Idiocracy” in that it shows the shallow nature and selfish nature that social media and traditional medias have cultivated. Using snappy dialogue, interesting editing, a riotous character and an all-star cast propels this film into the stratosphere.

The A-list cast breathes life into a potentially 2-dimentional story adding nuance and perfect comic timing to pull-off this witty tale. DiCaprio takes on an unusual role for him as nervous, studious Dr. Mindy bringing the heart into the few heart-felt moments. Lawrence is perfect as the disbelieving Dibiasky. She is the straight woman to these films comical journey and represents common sense. The supporting cast makes this movie the gem that it is with standout performances by Meryl Streep, Timothée Chalemet, Cate Blanchett, Ron Perlman, Mark Rylance and Tyler Perry. Each brings a particular life to their character, a personality that makes this film crackle with life.

This film hits so close to home that some will wonder if this is based upon an actual event. As the hijinks unfold and the climax comes crashing home, viewers will realize that this film’s heart-felt ending is the perfect resolution to this dark and stormy comedy.

“Don’t Look Up” is a refreshing take on society’s flaws and the strength of humankind to fix its mistakes – actually that last point, not so much. Make sure you “Look Up” this film in theaters December 10th.