Movie Thoughts: Don’t Look Up

Adrien Carver
3 min readJan 7, 2022

Bloated. That’s what this movie is. The plot, the cast and everything else. It feels like a bunch of better movies strung together. I didn’t laugh once. I can hear people going, “You weren’t supposed to.” Yeah, I was. It’s a comedy.

It’s the opposite of The Trial of the Chicago 7 — the first movie I’ve seen in a theater that I wish I would’ve just watched on Netflix. Overall this was a big let down for me. It’s another example of a great two-sentence premise that didn’t pan out when stretched to full runtime.

Don’t Look Up’s main problem is that it thinks it’s better than it is, and there’s nothing worse than an A-list production that thinks it’s better than it is. It assumes the authority to lecture everyone on its superior opinions, but nowadays no one wants to hear what millionaires have to say even (especially?) if they’re right.

The first scenes take place in an astronomy lab. They’re interesting and well done. The movie feels like a movie. Then once the comet is discovered everything slowly descends into preachy disorder. There are frenetic, random, quick little stock footage clips of babies and landscapes and other shit flying by, inserted at random times. Running jokes (general made us pay for snacks hee hee) never pay off. Put simply, the movie tries too hard.

The thing can’t decide if it’s an Anchorman/Other Guys absurdity or a serious Big Short/Vice satire. It’s no Dr. Strangelove. That was wickedly intelligent but didn’t marinate in its own intelligence and blatantly enjoy thinking it was so intelligent and spend all it’s time telling the audience how intelligent it was.

ALL THAT SAID, the movie’s pedigree keeps it from being a complete disaster. For all its flaws, it has its good points. For example, I have to say I found the ending relatively satisfying. Rylance and Hill’s characters have short monologues that are both clever and relevant — Hill’s at a political rally and Rylance’s spoken to DiCaprio’s character in a hangar where a spaceship is being worked on. I liked the concept of the Streep character even if the execution didn’t quite work.

Onto the performances: DiCaprio utilizes his usual intensely manic anxiety all the way through. He plays a pretty good nerd seduced by the power of celebrity, but his now-stereotypical, overly-intense “GAAH I’m freaking out” schtick is getting old for me, plus his character suffered from the movie being too long. I enjoyed him most when he was just playing a…