FILM REVIEW | Don't Look Up

With his past three movies, director Adam McKay has almost become his own genre.

Starting with The Big Short, running through to Vice and his new all-star film Don't Look Up, McKay has crafted a sort of silly-smart biting socio-political satire that is definitely not for everyone.

Don't Look Up is about the White House's response to news of an 'extinction-level' comet on course to wipe out Earth in six months.

It's the same basic premise as Deep Impact and Armageddon, with zero heroic astronauts (or drillers).

Main stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence play a college astronomy professor and his PhD student who discover the comet.

But despite the certainty of impact on Earth, the president (played by a hilarious Meryl Streep) doesn't love the optics of impending doom - especially ahead of midterm elections - and decides to "sit tight and assess".

What follows is a skewering commentary on politics, the media, big business and public distrust and ignorance in the face of science.

All-star: Jonah Hill, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence star in Adam McKay's disaster satire Don't Look Up, rated M, in cinemas now. Picture: Netflix

All-star: Jonah Hill, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence star in Adam McKay's disaster satire Don't Look Up, rated M, in cinemas now. Picture: Netflix

It's hit and miss, to be fair, but very enjoyable in its parody of the modern American reaction to global catastrophe. There are very clear parallels to be drawn between the public's reaction to the comet in the film, and the real-life pandemic-deniers.

But unlike McKay's previous two films, Don't Look Up is entirely fictional and doesn't point fingers - at least not explicitly - and any political ideology.

In fact, the president's costume jumps between blue and red during the film, as does Cate Blanchett's inauthentic news host.

But the plot is almost secondary to the many truly talented actors present in this film - and many have Oscars (or nominations at the least) to their name.

The extended cast features Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, the internet's boyfriend Timothee Chalamet, Melanie Lynskey, Tyler Perry, Ariana Grande, Kid Cudi, Ron Perlman, Himesh Patel, Paul Guilfoyle and even a cameo by Captain America himself, Chris Evans.

If you're not someone who pays close attention to the nature of US politics and the influence of big business, then you're probably not going to like Don't Look Up. And even if you do, hey, you still might not like it.

Rating: 7/10