By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

Well, as we have witnessed and experienced during 2020 and 2021, we all know how the people of the world, our leaders, and America have responded to an international pandemic. Filmmaker Adam McKay applies this experience to a fictional scenario involving a comet headed to our world that is destined to wipe out our world. While Mckay’s commentary is too obvious and on the nose, the humor that he and co-writer David Sirota deliver, throhe ugh some awesome comedic performances by the cast, is probably some of the best comic material I have seen this year so far. I have watched many movies this year, and Don’t Look Up is definitely reigns (in my opinion) as the top comedy of 2021.

The setting is the present, but this is a world not currently enduring any unusual global disasters. That is, until when Astronomy student Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) and her professor Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio discover that a comet is headed to our planet and will most definitely collide with Earth and destroy all life on this world. Logically, the scientists decide to alert President Janie Orlean, a politician mainly concerned with defusing her latest scandal. This meeting and any attempts to spread awareness about the implications of this inevitable disaster all seem to fall on deaf ears, as no one wants to take their valid claims seriously.

I cannot remember exactly when I laughed so much and so heartily while watching a movie this year. However, when thinking about this type of experience in 2021, Don’t Look Up will always come to mind. The sharp wit, the jabs at humanity’s total lack of focus on what is really important, and the total lack of respect for the merits of science are what make this movie so great. In some ways, it is a sad reflection of the state of humanity and how we have strayed so far from reality in the age of social media and disinformation. As I already stated, the commentary is sometimes a bit heavy-handed and over-the-top for the movie, but the heart of the film isn’t too far from the truth.

The film has an amazing cast that gives their performances much zest and gusto. Jennifer Hudson and Leonardo DiCaprio are both great as the befuddled and frustrated scientists trying to save humanity, despite most of humanity’s lack of common sense and bewildering lackadasical attitude to their warnings. Meryl Streep is an absolute riot as President Janie Orlean, who comes across as a rather amusing hybrid of Donald Trump and Sarah Palin. Cate Blanchett is also crazy funny as television personality Brie Evantee who, with her co-host Jack Bremmer (Tyler Perry) form a totally clueless and self-involved pair of banal entertainment and “news” talk show hosts. The film also features memorable and/or funny turns by Jonah Hill, Rob Morgan, Mark Rylance, Timothee Chalamet, Ron Perlman, Ariana Grande, and several others.

Don’t Look Up is currently showing is some theaters, but will be available for streaming on Netflix on December 24. While it isn’t exactly the typical holiday fare people often watch and enjoy, it is still a hilarious indictment of humanity and is guaranteed to deliver many laughs. That is, unless you believe the comet isn’t a real threat and you’d rather devote your time to the latest social media trends and are concerned with who’s dating whom or believe our world leaders are infallible.

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