Don't Look Up!

I watched the Netflix movie last night called ‘Don’t Look Up’. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the brief description I had read about it but I did sense it was going to attempt to be a metaphoric tale for our recent and current political/social environment…and I came away feeling that it did a pretty good job.

It’s a comedy and it does have some good laughs in it. I see it as belonging to a genre that includes ‘Dr. Strangelove’ (the best of all time IMO!), ‘Network’, ‘Wag The Dog’…all political satire comedies.

What I wasn’t expecting was that it didn’t really draw a line in the sand about which ‘side’ is the right side, in political terms. Being a Hollywood film I was frankly waiting for the ‘woke’ Hollywood message to begin beating me over the head…but, surprisingly just when I felt that was happening they offered it up for mockery and humour just as they did with whatever you might consider the opposing view may be. I really appreciated that. So, what they ultimately were satirizing was how ‘the game’ is played equally through the entire spectrum. And most relevant, to me, they spotlighted how science has been captured by corporate and political interests. To my mind, a most dangerous trend. And again, I felt they did a level handed job of not attributing that trend to one side of the political spectrum or the other.

They make a very obvious point of showing the nature of the intimate relationship of politics and corporate influence…how we are largely governed by a ‘corporatocracy’. In this instance the planning for saving the earth from immanent death is entirely handed over to the head of a massive corporation…his plan of course is entirely driven by economics…and the initial plan which was based in scientific data and evidence is aborted.

There’s lots of satire around how the public is manipulated in one direction or the other by catch phrases and talking points but are actually left completely blind to the real machinations that are taking place behind the scenes. How information is ‘weaponized’ and manipulated to suit an agenda is simple…get people fearful (primitive brain, survival response) and then offer them a solution that is perceived as moving toward safety and certainty and the film portrays that very well.

To my mind, given my personal bias, the ultimate message from the film and the most important for me is this, and I’ll pose it as a question: Is the real danger the thing that I’m being told is the danger or is it ultimately the people who are telling me who/what to be afraid of?

And even though this is ostensibly a comedy the subject matter it explores is definitely not funny and there is lots of purposeful imagery throughout designed to activate feelings that may be challenging for some folks.

I give this movie two enthusiastic opposable thumbs up. It’s funny, entertaining and relevant.


Excellent review. Agree across the board. You should be a movie critic, @Glenn!!!