Movie Review – Don’t Look Up – Funny but Ordinary
My Rating – 2.5 out of 5
Plot Summary (Storyline) – Don’t Look Up
The absolute best part of the movie Don’t Look Up is its cast! It could jolly well be read as the Oscar nomination list for Best Actor (Male) and Best Actor (Female) – Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Tyler Perry, Mark Rylance, and others. And it is called the problem of plenty, too many great actors trying to make sense of a weak plot. Director Adam McKay has experience in the comedy genre – The Big Short, but here he miserably fails to make use of a stellar cast assembled to lend the film some heft. It’s like making bathroom slippers with gold and diamonds!
Leonardo plays the role of Dr. Randall Mindy, an ordinary astrologer from Michigan with an ordinary life – wife, kids, etc. His assistant, Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) makes a surprise discovery – a comet is hurtling towards Earth, the size of a small city. If it hits, as it looks likely to do in six months and 14 days, all life on earth will be destroyed, With the grim realization that the world as we know it will cease to exist, the duo try to convince the people in power and the scientific open-minded people as well of the grave danger that faces mankind. Unfortunately, nobody takes them seriously, at first.
The duo failed to convince the President of the United States (Meryl Streep) and her Secretary of State, Jason Orlean (Jonah Hill) of the impending as the President seems more concerned about the upcoming primaries and her standing in them. They even appear on a TV Talk Show, hosted by Cate Blanchett and Tyler Perry, but even that is motivated in dealing in sensationalism rather than practicality. But as D-Day approaches, many other astronomers and skywatchers are able to spot the approaching planet and raise the kind of alarm the scientist duo have been trying all throughout. As chaos breaks out among the world citizenry, President Orlean finally decides to act.
When the star-studded cast fails to make an impact on the audience – particularly where the message is so serious but delivered with a ham-handed mediocrity – it feels like a massive waste of time and energy. Even the mighty Cate Blanchett is made to look like a plastic mannequin due to the poor role accorded to her. Meryl Streep and her caliber is also mightily wasted – as the caricature of the US President, mostly relegated to delivering meaningless one-liners. Nothing seems to go right for the film, even Leo DiCaprio’s histrionics and high octane acting cannot save this movie from becoming a total disaster. It feels like such a tragic waste of collective talent!
Conclusion – Movie Review of Don’t Look Up
Most of the blame for that lies squarely at the door of director Adam McKay, one seriously wonders what he was thinking when he gave this story the treatment that he has. Rather than its cast vying for Oscar nominations competing with each other, it will be considered lucky in getting any nominations at all. Even the jokes are mostly not laughable, the characters are empty caricatures who try hard to make this work, but fail.
Even for fans of the slapstick genre of comedy, this is nowhere, neither cerebral nor slapstick but rather more in the ‘facepalm’ category. I will be extremely surprised if this wins any awards, except for a sureshot thing for its Casting Director, who has somehow managed such gifted actors to agree to be part of this charade. Watch this at your own risk, be prepared to keep wondering – what was Adam McKay thinking! It almost feels like The Big Short was directed by someone with the same name…
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