I feel like I stopped watching as much satire in the last 4 or 5 years. Its not that I don’t enjoy satire, I do, but when you are living in the world we have lived in for the last 4 to 5 years its just not as necessary. So I had some trepidation towards watching the recent release of Don’t Look Up.
Ensemble comedy casts can be really great. Tropic Thunder is a masterpiece, but it was making fun of Hollywood, and the rest of us. Don’t Look Up instead takes on a sobering topic: climate change. Do we really need a comedy about that, right now with everything that is happening? Yes, I think we do.
In this case climate change is replaced by an ‘extinction event’ comet from the Oort Cloud. The scientists that discover it are told to sit and assess by the President of the United States. From there follows a series of unfortunate events and finally total destruction of the planet.
I very much enjoyed Don’t Look Up from both a comedy and satire perspective. There are a lot of funny moments delivered by all star actors and good writing. The situations that they find themselves in are so terrifying they are comical.
The satire is what drives the plot of the film. From the disaster President with her son for Chief of Staff. To the Tim Cook/Steve Jobs/Elon Musk billionaire pulling all the strings eventually leading to the planets destruction. I have read reviews that feel the writing is elitist and partisan. The writers definitely borrow from current events, hence the satire. I guess including some commentary on the recent President may feel partisan. I felt that those sections could have been either party in charge. The point is the money is what is in charge.
The creators of the film managed to include every group of people in both good and bad light. Mostly bad and hence the ending of the film. If you come away from this film offended you should. We are all complicit in this situation and are represented well in this movie. Even the characters that try to help manage to mess up somehow. Media training is something we are going to need.
The final scene is very sobering and a harsh reminder of what we face with climate change. For as many of us who are in agreement that the climate is changing due to man’s activities and that we need to do something about it, there appear to be more people who want to bury their heads in the sand. Don’t Look Up indeed.