Escape Velocity

A curated Collection of Fantasy and Science Fiction Media

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Two astronomers discover an extinction-event worthy comet is headed for Earth. Humanity has six months to think of something to save the planet. However, who will listen to the scientific community warning for total destruction? Certainly not politicians or the media…

Let’s get the elephant out of the room: this movie is about climate change. And maybe a bit about the corona pandemic. It is about inevitable destruction not being enough to get people to take action and save the world.

Now that is out of the way, let’s talk about the movie. I found it entertaining. I think it was a bit too long, especially the first half, but not boring. In comparison with McKay’s other social commentaries The Big Short and Vice, the story was more on the forefront and there was no fourth-wall breaking explanations – which I don’t really like – except in the beginning, when text on the screen explains a particular institution is real. Yet I found the message of the movie coming down a bit more flat than McKay’s previous movies. It was very on the nose and made me shrug like, yep, that is the way it is, no surprises there.

Some critics might say this was because the real world is more bizar than the satire of Don’t look up. I disagree. I think the frustrating and infuriating system of unresponsive governments can still be shown by zooming in and focusing on a specific aspect of reality – satire enlarges this aspect and shows the absurdity.

Did the movie succeed in this? Yes and no. I think the talk show/media-part was quite good, but the political angle did not do it for me. The president (Meryl Streep) and secretary of state/son of the president (Jonah Hill) did a fine job acting-wise, but the movie would have been stronger when the politicians had been colder and more calculating, instead of incompetent and happy. We do have some experience with powerful yet jolly and incompetent leaders of course – ahum – but I think pointing to this as the cause of inaction does not hold (completely) in global perspective. Which is another thing I would have loved to see: a less US-centric approach. Although this Americentrism might also be a point the movie is trying to make.

I wonder if the movie would have been better when it had focused on either politicians or the media. A movie about global organisations and politicians caught in a web of bureaucracy and diplomatic relations, where not one powerful individual is to blame, but a political system that we can’t seem to escape. Or a movie about the media cycle that can’t really express urgency when issues take more than a week to solve and that try to make every information into infotainment.

The movie was good and important. I have seen reactions of people who say the movie opened their eyes. I am glad. But the question remains: will it spur politicians on to action or will it disappear in the news cycle like any other piece of global warning? (pun intended)

I watched this movie because the premise was kind of interesting and I like a disaster movie. It’s not that I hated it, but I was expecting it to be better with the cast that it had. This movie is… fine. It’s very on the nose, and it wasn’t very funny? There’s a lot to be said about this movie that has already been said, so I will keep this short.

I feel like the idea of satire is to point something out in a funny way. Or at least in a way that makes the situation funny. This movie just wasn’t very funny? There were some jokes, I guess. Maybe I laughed twice?

What it comes down to for me is this: We all know global warming sucks and the people in power aren’t doing enough to stop it. This isn’t news. If you’re going to write a satirical movie about it, at least make me laugh.

“Underwhelming” definitely covers how I felt about Don’t Look Up.

The first half of the movie I was amused, then I was just sad. I like my fiction a bit more… fictional.


I jumped blindly on the hype-train and I think I regret it. I do want to give a shoutout to the casting director. If you’re a fan of one of the big names in the cast, it might be worth it to see them do something completely different from their usual works. Otherwise I would not recommend this movie.

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