We watched the Netflix movie “Don’t Look up” last night. It is less about comets ending the world as it is social and political commentary. The President, played by Meryl Street, is definitely a Trump-like political figure. The biggest commentary, though, is more social as the movie screams dissatisfaction with celebrity culture, social media addiction, and the fact most people don’t have the ability to analyze complicated facts. Sometimes it feels like it is talking about the response to COVID-19 and other times it feels like it is about global climate change.
The movie is better than that other big Netflix Christmas Day offering of Birdbox from a couple of years ago, that is for sure.
The language is strong — very strong — and there is completely gratuitous nudity near the end.
The best scene is at the very end, when the seven sane people left sit down to dinner and Timothee Chalamet leads them in a very touching prayer which could be offered in any church in the world.
However, my big take away was that this movie presents a word that needs to be destroyed and is not worth saving. None of the characters are particularly likable, and it is such an exaggeration of all our worst tendencies that it doesn’t feel particularly believable. However, Mark Rylance is amazing in his portrayal of a Jeff Bezos/Elon Musk/Bill Gates figure.
The movie was such a downer we had to watch an episode of Ted Lasso to get our minds readjusted.
Now, if you want a better all around comet/asteroid destroying the world flick, then I suggest Deep Impact. Every time I watch it I wish the character Morgan Freeman plays was really our president. The human characters in that film are so well fleshed out in meaningful ways that if that movie is on tv, I will stop and watch it.
Then there is Armageddon, which is awful. However, Bruce Willis dies in it every time, and that is something to applaud.
But back to ‘Don’t Look Up’. The cast is under utilized. Cate Blanchett is basically just a trope as is Tyler Perry. Meryl Streep is the caricature of a shallow duplicitous politician. Jonah Hill makes me sick to my stomach. Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, not his acting, but his character, is inconsistent. Jennifer Lawrence, who may be the best actor of our time, is reduced to brooding and screaming. The scientists don’t act like scientists in this movie.
All the negative said, the movie could have some powerful benefit theologically. I told Mrs. Greenbean they should show this movie in seminary and use it as a launching point for the doctrine of total depravity, because ever negative impulse of the human race is covered in this one movie.
The implication of the director, Adam McKay, seems to be if we keep going the way we are, the eventual end will be death by denial of truth. As such, it reminds me less of other asteroid disaster movies and more of Idiocracy, which is a film that feels prophetic fifteen years later.
There are a few laugh out loud moments — and if you do watch it, keep an eye on the ever rising cost of shovels in the film.