What does the end of the world look like? How do people react? Why? If a viewer is looking for a definite answer to those questions, Don’t Look Up is not the right movie to watch.
Don’t Look Up exists on the premise that a comet is on course to collide with Earth, but nobody cares. The world is more interested in making memes out of main characters Randall Mindy and Kate Dibiasky than discussing impending doom.
Granted, many people around the globe are not qualified to solve the answer of how to save the world and are simply going about their lives with whatever time they have left. However, Don’t Look Up is not about any of them.
Instead, the film focuses on all the people who have the power to do something but choose not to. Randall gives in to the exciting media attention he receives from the public rather than sticking to his initial anger and fear toward what he knows will be an inevitable end to the planet. Kate, who repeatedly tries to remind people of the coming danger, is ignored.
The President is incompetent, refusing to humor the possibility of dealing with the apocalypse until her chance at re-election is threatened. Even afterward, she gives in to the possibility of allowing the comet to hit Earth if it means Americans can benefit from the resources and materials within the comet.
Other than that these are just blatantly bad decisions, Don’t Look Up never dives into why the President would be tempted to make these choices other than that it is the opposite of what she should be doing. When the time comes to destroy the comet while they have the chance, which is the obvious answer, she will not go through with it.
But, of course, what every other country is doing while the United States takes the lead is never entirely answered either. So why is every other country allowing the United States to let the comet hit the Earth?
The film’s concept is exciting, as the movie had plenty of potential to explore how people prepare for the inevitable end of the world or how they choose to fight against it and save the planet. But, instead, this satirical film spreads itself far too thin in an attempt to cover numerous issues.
Don’t Look Up tries to be a satire about the state of the world and the problems that arise when trying to mix politicians with scientific discoveries. Among all of this, it also attempts to address a nation divided over a vast difference in thought. Is the comet a legitimate danger to the world, or is it just another close call waiting to happen?
Several movies, television shows, and novels have taken time to approach an apocalyptic world and what it means in the aftermath. Don’t Look Up is not one of them.
The film also falls apart in its total runtime, with the movie being over two hours long. Two hours is a long time, and to pull off a film being more prolonged than that, the story better has enough juice or emotional connection to allow the audience to remain invested for the entire running time.
Don’t Look Up may be a satire, but it still has issues when discussing the nature of its plotlines.