Don’t Look Up — .5 Gavels 56% Rotten Tomatoes

Polygon finds Don’t Look Up “hellishly unfunny.” I couldn’t have said it better. It’s hard to fathom that the same guy who wrote The Big Short also wrote this mess. Then again, Adam McKay is the responsible party for Vice. His downward spiral continues. Allegedly a satire and social commentary, Don’t Look Up is a real snoozer. I recommend Don’t Bother Watching. Netflix should demand their money back. McKay received a $75 million budget, signed a boatload of stars, and delivered a clunker. Someone should be fired.

What do Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, Tyler Perry, Ron Perlman, Timothee Chalamet, Himesh Patel, Ariana Grande, and a host of others have in common? Someone sold them a bill of goods to appear in this absurd farce. In McKay’s world of Don’t Look Up, a comet heading toward Earth would be of little concern. Americans would be more interested in the sex life of an unqualified Supreme Court nominee. Or, a tech billionaire could convince the government that untested technology could capture parts of the comet to acquire rare earth materials for phones and computers. With no comedy to be mined, I give Don’t Look Up .5 Gavels and it receives a 56% Rotten Tomatoes rating. Viewers give it a better-than-expected 7.3/10 IMDb score.


Kate Dibiasky, a PhD candidate at Michigan State, discovers a 5-10 kilometer wide comet. Calculations made by Dr. Randall Mindy indicate its trajectory collides with our planet in six months. Dr. Teddy Oglethorpe, head of Planetary Defense Coordination, sets up a meeting at The White House. President Orlean and son, Chief of Staff Jason Orlean, downplay the information until the leak of classified material finds its way into the press. Ultimately, the media turns on the bearers of bad tidings. The #Don’t Look Up gang carries the day.


Leo (Mindy), Lawrence (Dibiasky), Streep (President), and Blanchett (Brie Evantee) are not traditional comedy actors so maybe, just maybe, we can tut-tut their lackluster performances. Streep is particularly awful, only surpassed by the ordinarily excellent Mark Rylance (Peter Isherwell). On the other hand, Jonah Hill (Jason) should be in his element. This is undoubtedly the worst performance of his career. Typically, one raves rave about an ensemble cast of this sort. Here, it totally deserves the Golden Raspberry award for Worst Ensemble Cast.


Final Thoughts

At some point, a story “jumps the shark.” From a hyperventilating Professor becoming a hunky scientist to pods landing on Earth 22,746 years in the future to man-eating dinosaurs, Don’t Look Up is a farce too far. I’m somewhat surprised Mckay didn’t include Fred Flintstone in the film somewhere. That might lend more credibility.

“The premise is squandered in a slapdash, scattershot sendup that turns almost everyone into nincompoops, trivializes everything it touches, oozes with self-delight, and becomes part of the babble and yammer it portrays.” Wall Street Journal

“A disastrous movie, Don’t Look Up shows McKay as the most out of touch he’s ever been with what is clever, or how to get his audience to care.”

Hollywood makes fun of the Platinum Eagle Level Donors to Presidents, but has no such concern for the platinum level prices for their multiple streaming services. Keep putting out movies like this and viewers will search elsewhere.