DON'T LOOK UP (L to R) Cate Blanchett as Brie Evantee and Tyler Perry as Jack Bremmer, Leonardo DiCaprio as Dr. Randall Mindy, and Jennifer Lawrence as Kate Dibiasky. Cr. Niko Tavernise / Netflix © 2021

Don’t Look Up: Laughing at Impending Doom

by Neil Bui

Who could have imagined that the award-winning combination of Adam McKay, Leo DiCaprio, and Jennifer Lawrence would come together for a Netflix movie that’s equal parts political satire, science-fiction, and dark comedy? Instead of the typical comedy based on true events setup we’ve seen with Big Short and Vice, Don’t Look Up is a realistic view into a sci fi-esque plot line that will eerily remind viewers of the potential shortcomings of governments and societies when they choose to stick their heads in the sand and ignore concrete, proven facts.

DiCaprio plays scientist Randall Mindy, just as intelligent as he is an anxious mess. He absolutely kills it in this role. Just as he’s previously convinced us he’s the greatest conman from Wall Street and barely survived bear attacks, you’ll be genuinely convinced he’s a scientific expert who needs to watch his breathing.

Lawrence plays his graduate student Kate Dibiasky, and the two of them are sincere astronomers navigating politics, social media, and public perception in order to get the word out about their important discovery that could help us avoid a planetary catastrophe.

The film is bound to get you really comfortable with laughter and humor in the face of impending doom and utter incompetence.

DON'T LOOK UP, (L to R) Jonah Hill as Jason Orlean, Meryl Streep as President Janie Orlean. Cr. Niko Tavernise / Netflix © 2021
DON’T LOOK UP, (L to R) Jonah Hill as Jason Orlean, Meryl Streep as President Janie Orlean. Cr. Niko Tavernise / Netflix © 2021

Without giving up too much more away, just expect to see the illogical greed of governments surpass rational thoughts of survival. Just like in McKay’s past works, prepare to be educated as well. For example, did you know that the Planetary Defense Coordination Office featured in Don’t Look Up is a real establishment within NASA? See: https://www.nasa.gov/planetarydefense/overview

Planetary Defense Coordination Office

Near-Earth objects (NEOs) are asteroids and comets that orbit the Sun like the planets, but their orbits can bring them into Earth’s neighborhood – within 30 million miles of Earth’s orbit. Planetary defense is “applied planetary science” to address the NEO impact hazard.

NASA established the Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) to manage its ongoing mission of planetary defense. The PDCO:

Provides early detection of potentially hazardous objects (PHOs) – the subset of NEOs whose orbits predict they will come within 5 million miles of Earth’s orbit; and of a size large enough (30 to 50 meters) to cause significant damage on Earth

How does Don’t Look Up end? Find out in theaters December 10 and on Netflix December 24.

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