'Don't Look Up' review: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence headline a scathing climate-change satire that occasionally veers off course

At its core, writer-director Adam McKay (who wrote the script with journalist/activist David Sirota) delivers a very pointed treatise on the dysfunctional state of present politics and media, wherein everyone seems to be so myopic as to be unable to concentrate on an existential menace. The title displays the inevitable endpoint of that, with a bury-your-head-in-the-sand strategy to impending doom.
The window into that absurdity comes when astronomy professor Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his PhD. scholar Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) uncover the comet, whose trajectory will result in a direct collision with Earth in a little over six months.

Understandably alarmed, their findings rapidly attain the White House, the place the president (Meryl Streep, poorly served by the ridiculousness of her character) is simply too preoccupied along with her endangered Supreme Court choose to concentrate on what Randall describes as an extinction-level occasion. After fruitless again and forth, she concludes that they will “sit tight and assess” the state of affairs.

From there, “Don’t Look Up” is off to the races with a scathing indictment of all the things about our media and political ecosystem, from the happy-talk information present (anchored by Tyler Perry and Cate Blanchett, standing out as particularly self-absorbed TV anchors) to web sites preoccupied with site visitors and social-media memes.

McKay and Sirota ship a spot-on assault on how simply distracted individuals (particularly in media) are, fixating on Kate’s hair and garments and ignoring the substance of her message.

The makes an attempt to make that level, nevertheless, careen wildly in numerous instructions, from a tech billionaire (Mark Rylance, adopting a not-of-this-world accent) who sees alternatives to money in on the comet’s pure sources to the president’s chief of employees (Jonah Hill), who can solely see the menace by way of the way it may affect the midterm elections.

Still, “Don’t Look Up” retains getting sidetracked, thanks partially to piling up celebrities in minor roles (witness Timothée Chalamet’s belated entrance for no explicit purpose) and pursuing subplots that drag out the strain on whether or not these flawed leaders will discover the fortitude and sobriety to take motion.

DiCaprio (whose climate-change activism included producing the documentary “Ice on Fire”) and Lawrence are each excellent, however lots of the different bold-faced names principally function flashy and considerably pointless window dressing.
McKay’s “The Big Short” and “Vice” symbolize his most blatant antecedents in tackling main establishments in a darkly satiric method, however the movie owes a debt to “Dr. Strangelove” as effectively, casting its web wider with increased (certainly, the very best) stakes. The title definitely does a lot of heavy lifting, capturing the prevailing response to inconvenient information.

As was clearly its intention, “Don’t Look Up” makes use of satire to spur a dialog about doubtlessly ignoring a disaster till it is too late. It’s a sobering message, however one that comes barreling towards us by way of the lens of an uneven film.

“Don’t Look Up” premieres Dec. 10 in choose theaters and Dec. 24 on Netflix. It’s rated R.

With information from