Don't Look Up Review (2021): Adam McKay's Satirical Critique of Today's Media


 To say Adam McKay ( Anchorman, The Big Short ) is the most underrated comedy and drama director , is understandable.

Indeed , The Big Short (2015) and Vice (2018) have been successful in being Oscar nominees . Especially for The Big Short , this film won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 88th Academy Awards in 2016.

But again, if we look at it as a whole, all of McKay's comedy dramas still haven't gotten the attention they deserve. In fact, his film works have very sharp satirical elements or messages.

It is these satire that of course can be material for reflection for us as the audience to become aware and quickly improve ourselves. So, we can become individuals who are much more sensitive to the daily lives we live.

Well, McKay's latest work, Don't Look Up , is the same way. Even the satire in this film, is really very high level of relevance to today's life.

And I believe that after the success of Don't Look Up , Adam McKay's figure and work in the future will be much more important, just like the works of Steven Spielberg ( West Side Story ), Martin Scorsese ( The Irishman ), and other capable directors.

Remind But Not Lecture

Why do I say that in the opening paragraph of this Don't Look Up review ? 1 thing: Mckay reminded but not like lecturing or patronizing.

Then another one, he quipped but quipped with concrete evidence. And everything is clearly seen through this Don't Look Up . McKay through this film wants to remind us to be smart in analyzing a news or phenomenon that is happening.

Apart from that, we must also be able to very intelligently analyze the parties/sources of the news. Well, unfortunately as we see in the real world everyday, this intelligence is still very lacking. And once again through this film, McKay wants to present and at the same time remind that sad fact.

A Comedy Finish That Makes You Enjoy And Relax Non-Stop

Well, one more aspect of all of McKay's satirical films that makes us feel less like being tutored, is that he always packs it with a touch of comedy. And for a touch of satirical comedy Don't Look Up , the comedy packaging is really "out of place".

Because when we watch a film whose script is also written by McKay, we laugh non-stop. Anyway, I'm very satisfied with the laugh. Whereas as we can see through this film's IMDB page , the plot of Don't Look Up actually raises a serious issue.

Specifically, this film tells the efforts of Professor of Astronomy Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) with his brilliant student, Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) to remind all Americans of the arrival of an earth-destroying comet.

The arrival of this dangerous comet is only a matter of months away, aka, there is no time to "shut up" . Anyway, it must be now before the entire planet earth perishes. It's a shame that even though it's been reminded through popular talk shows , people are still very indifferent.

Even the US President, Janie Orlean (Meryl Streep) also ignores it. Then this is exacerbated by the entire US citizens and around the world who trust news from non-scientific / non-valid sources such as one of them, conspiracy theories.

Some media are also described as unreliable sources. The media in this film is nothing more than an institution that only wants to spread interesting news and sell whatever it is possible, the news or feature articles are “coin”.

Basically, they don't want to cause mass panic with uncomfortable news. Yet again, apart from this, this is a fact that is currently happening and, this news comes from 2 astronomers who have been pursuing their knowledge for many years.

So once again, if we pay attention, the plot of this film is really serious, isn't it? But the genius, McKay can make it into a dish that is very light and really fun . But make no mistake! Because the serious plot message can still be conveyed very well.

Script & Performance With Very Cool Comedy Timing

Well, what makes the comedy element very effective and well-matched with the plot is McKay's script, which has a very cool comedy timing element in every dialogue.

Anyway, every dialogue feels very in line with the current comedy style. So, even if we say there is a small joke , the joke still makes us laugh without feeling that the joke is bad .

However, this awesome comedic timing would not have been possible without the comedic timing genius of the actors as well. And fortunately, all the actors can display their comedic timing very brilliantly.

Even further, some actors like DiCaprio and Lawrence managed to surprise us all with their comedic timing . Okay, maybe for Lawrence we can still see if he can do comedy acts. But Leo?

Because so far, he has played in movies or played super serious characters. Even if you play a fun character like Derek in a rare film, Don's Plum (2001), in general, the tonal character and the film are still semi-serious.

Okay, indeed his role as Dr. Mindy in this film is still a typical semi-serious or semi-comedial role like in previous Leo films. But in this film, he indirectly gives his sad comedic appearance with a much sadder and even more ridiculous appearance.

Let's pray that after Don't Look Up , Leo will appear more in comedy-drama films like this.

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