Don’t Look Up uses satire as a sledgehammer

When scientists discover a comet on a direct course to smash into the Earth and kill everyone, the stage is set for denial, exploitation, and the American way – that way being the dumbest people in the planet trying to do everything they can to make the richest people on the planet even richer.

In case you’ve missed the glaringly obvious, Don’t Look Up is a satire of global warming, the pandemic, tribalism, Trumpism, and everything that makes our society so miserable and ineffective.

The trouble with this movie is that it is so glaringly obvious, that there is absolutely no subtlety to it. In a sense, we have a movie that is making fun of brainless government and media cycle by presenting its message in a way that doesn’t respect the intelligence of those watching it.

Sure, you could make the argument that the movie is a comedy parody of American politics, but it never takes this concept far enough. Granted, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, and Mark Rylance were despicably hilarious in their roles, the parts that came closest to parody, but there were far too many straight men for the movie to be an outright zany parody.

It’s weird… it is too obvious to be satire, and doesn’t go far enough to be a parody. What we are left with is a movie that is a cynical take on tribalism and capitalism with all the nuance of a kick to the groin.

For the most part, the characters in this movie are incredibly unlikable, including the main characters who just want to get the word about the comet out to the public. There is, however, one scene at the end that I thought rang with such honesty and emotion that I wished the entire movie would have been about a family and friends getting together for one last meal before the world ends.

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