Don’t Look Up : A Pro & Con Review Of The Movie We review the new Netlfix film from both a positive and negative standpoint.
I had to force myself to finish this film to justify my planned critique of it. I felt the same way. Though I thought both leads were boring and bad. The whole movie centers around two scientists who are incapable of communicating or playing politics, which is both insulting and unrealistic imo. And it hinders on a stark cynicism to be recognizable.
But recognizable isn’t funny in itself.
The only laughs I got were some of Jonah Hill’s lines. Also it fell short of balancing the right tone as it tried to be realistic in some aspects but fantastical in others: like the abort. Also it felt like the two leads were the only ones capable of doing anything to get to the president or political leaders. It was so weird. Noble tries to raise awareness, but this just film feeds the flame of liberal elite propaganda films. McKay seems well intentioned but misses.
I think everyone doesn’t like this movie because they misinterpret the intent. (I loved it, btw) It is NOT liberal/progressive satire. It is Nihilistic. Everyone thinks it’s a movie about how you should listen to scientists, and that it’s making fun of anti-maskers and conspiracy theorists, or raising awareness about covid. It is not. (At least not exclusively)
The thesis of the movie is “We’re fucked. Human psychology and society is hopelessly bad at coordination problems.” So yea, it’s satire, but it’s satirizing EVERYONE. Maybe I just have the right type of cynicism for it to hit well, but I liked it a lot. (And thought it was funny)
The Con’s response:
It’s not nihilistic. It’s cynical. Nihilism would be without a belief system. It had one. Cynical is hopeless and this film was that (as you mentioned). Personally, that’s a useless and annoying point of view for this issue as it tends to put people into a state of overwhelming helplessness and can’t seem to do anything after that.
The best part of the movie is a press conference where Jonah Hill brings up that exact point and asks what we can do and Leo says: there’s little that individuals can do to affect the problem when 70% of global emissions come from the top 100 companies. So the best you can do is vote for people who take this issue seriously.
And I don’t think anyone I know thinks it’s mocking anti maskers or covid deniers. It’s clearly about global warming and climate change deniers. And I knew that going in. It was too cynical for me, not fun, cringe at moments, forced, and occasionally hilarious. Overall a chore to sit through, glad to get some great laughs (vending machines plot, prayer for things, if she weren’t my mom), but still, I can’t recommend it.