Don’t Look Up Doesn’t Get the Climate Crisis


R&I – FS

Don’t Look Up is an obscenely overlong, occasionally funny satire of American media and politics. But it aspires to be something more.

As he has emphasized in interviews, director Adam McKay conceived of the film as an allegory for the climate crisis. His aim was to render the absurdity of our collective response to global warming more visible by likening the problem to a starker existential threat: a “planet-killer” comet on a collision course with Earth. Don’t Look Up portrays a United States so intoxicated by decadent consumerism, and so corrupted by polarized, plutocratic politics, that it cannot make deflecting a doomsday rock a national priority. Even as the Dibiasky comet bears down on Earth, media outlets carry on spotlighting frivolities and fomenting culture wars, while politicians keep privileging the whims of billionaire donors over the needs of humanity writ large.

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