“Don’t Look Up” is not as bad as critics say


“Don’t Look Up” has received positive reviews from scientists who believe that their work has not been acknowledged. [Photo courtesy to A Day Magazine]

Rating: ★★★☆☆

The long awaited Netflix movie “Don’t Look Up,” which serves as an allegory for the ignorance of climate change within society, was released in theaters on Dec. 10, 2021. The film, which was directed by Adam McKay, starred prominent actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, Tyler Perry, Timothée Chalamet, Ron Perlman, Ariana Grande and Kid Cudi. 

The film follows Kate Dibiasky, an astronomer attending graduate school at the University of Michigan and her professor, Dr. Randall Mindy, played by Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo Dicaprio, who discover a civilization-destroying comet heading toward Earth. The comet, which is a definite threat to Earth, represents climate change, which is inevitably destroying our world. According to Dibiasky and Mindy, the comet would hit Earth six months after its discovery and would cause a world-wide extinction. Throughout the movie, Dibiasky and Mindy attempt to get everyone in the world to acknowledge the approaching comet but are met with mockery from both the government and media, who worked to dissuade the public from listening to the astronomers. 

The satirical elements from the movie is relatable to our modern society, where many governments censor information that news publications want to reveal to the public and advocate for advertising fake news. For example, when the President, played by Meryl Streep, persuaded people to not believe in the approaching comet in the film, it was a direct connection to the 2020 US Presidential Campaign, where false information was commonly used in order for the candidate to gain more support. 

However, the film was disappointing in many ways. Despite featuring many A-list actors, most of the acting was mediocre, especially Leonardo Dicpario’s portrayal of Mindy, who seemed more of a side character than a protagonist. After Mindy’s announcement of the comet, his storyline focused on his infidelity and him tagging along Dibiasky during the campaigns. I personally felt more of a connection with Jennifer Lawrence’s performance of Kate as her acting was more realistic and raw, such as the scene where she breaks down on national TV. 

Although the movie received a lot of criticism over the execution of the film due to the lack of emotions, I really enjoyed the satire as it reveals how our society attempts to shy away from reality instead of accepting and facing obstacles. The movie was a “wake up call” to our community, underlining the importance of everyone having their own opinions on situations, instead of blindly listening to authoritative figures. 

One of the more enjoyable moments in the climate-apocalyptic movie was the “Just Look Up” performance during a campaign held by Dibiasky and Mindy in hopes of getting more people to acknowledge the comet and recognize their doomed fates. The performance by artists Riley Bina and DJ Chello, played by Ariana Grande and Kid Cudi, was exhibited perfectly. Like the other scenes in the film, the lyrics and visuals of the comet had a sense of satire, mocking the government for not listening to scientists who are more “qualified” than them. 

Overall, even though the film was not delivered in a way that critics anticipated, “Don’t Look Up” is a solid movie that has an important underlying message.