“Don’t Look Up”

Presented in satirical humor, “Don’t Look Up” predicts the catastrophic effects of real world climate denial


I yelled at my TV when I watched “Don’t Look Up.” I was just as passionate about making the citizens understand that an earth-destroying meteor was heading their way as the characters were in the Netflix movie, “Don’t Look Up”. Director Adam McKay’s world sucked me into an intense yet hilarious ride.

Student Kate Dibiasky, discovers a comet and Professor Randall Mindy calculates its path to determine it is headed directly towards Earth and will make an impact in six months and 14 days. The US government plans a mission trip to deflect the comet off of its path, but just as the rocket launches it gets a command to turn back around. The third richest human in the world, Peter Isherwel, wants to bring the comet down to earth in pieces to use it for its precious metals. The questionable new mission becomes highly controversial and creates an intense political division. 

While this film is up to viewer interpretation, many parallels to the real world are clear. The meteor represents climate change, but also the inevitable mistakes humanity will make. It can also be interpreted as a reflection on the pandemic and the global response, including the prominent political divide. 

 The dark, humorous satire about humanity conveys intense parallels to the current state of our climate and addresses significant global faults that the meteor is a metaphor for. The humor from this film was delivered by the amazing performances of the actors, as well as Mckay’s beautiful film work. The parallels poking fun at minor world issues, such as social media addiction and false news, serve as comedic relief for the very intense and real parallels to major global problems. The movie’s main message, cemented by depictions of government neglect, false news, and corporate greed interspersed throughout, is that humanity itself is just as big of a threat as an earth-shattering meteor is. The trouble is, Mckay alleges, no one else seems to see it that way. 

The film occasionally cuts rapidly between different scenes, including mesmerizing views of planets, the meteor itself, animal life, and human chaos, to elevate the suspense as well as provide comic relief. This cutting technique was particularly effective in this film as it constantly reminded viewers of the vastness of earth and our universe. The scenes will go from a peaceful bird flying to humans burning down cities in panic. 

The commentary about the influence of social media and fake news is perfectly conveyed through strategic mock ad breaks, to a scene of a YouTuber deciding if the Illuminati is behind the meteor. The attention to detail in this movie pushed it over the edge.   

I enjoyed Leonardo Dicaprio’s performance especially in “Don’t Look Up.” He was able to perfectly capture the panic and anxiety of Professor Mindy, in a way that was so realistic and emotional, I felt that stress, sadness, and fear along with him. 

I cannot recommend this movie more. It was absolutely amazing from the hilarious, dark humor to intense issues that felt real. I found myself cracking up at one moment and wanting to yell the next. The film work was absolutely marvelous, it captured every character’s emotions and intentions perfectly and successfully captured my attention the entire movie. 

The satirical humor of Adam Mckaybrought the entire film to another level. He perfectly conveys the stupidity of humankind. The movie calls for viewers to “just look up” at the problems and threats to humanity, acknowledge it and simply take action.