A comet three to six miles wide is hurling toward Earth. By all accounts and measures, the comet will slam into the planet in just over six months. The impact from a comet that large is expected to be a mass extinction level event. The end of human civilization. If only political leaders, TV personalities, or anyone would listen to the scientists who know for a fact that this disaster is impending!
Sound familiar? It should. It’s the plotline of our lives. We’re living it.
It’s also the premise of the latest #1 film on Netflix, Don’t Look Up, a story by journalist David Sirota and director Adam McKay. It’s a dark and depressingly hilarious satire about the grim reality of climate denial. Through a tale about two scientists and their frustrating attempts to get the world’s attention in the face of global destruction, we see the story of the world we live in, a world in which our own impending doom is routinely ignored for the sake of wealth and power.
But it’s not just our leaders, it’s everyone. It’s us. The film takes a hard look at the way in which we all, or at least the vast majority of us, go about living our lives everyday as if global catastrophe weren’t impending, as if everything was normal.
Don’t worry, everything will be okay, as long as no one pays attention or panics, right?
Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio put in wonderful performances as the two scientists struggling to save the world. Meryl Streep plays a perfectly disinterested U.S. president who only decides to do something about the comet when her reelection bid depends on it. The rest of the cast is star-studded as well with Jonah Hill, Ariana Grande, Tyler Perry, Ron Perlman, Cate Blanchett, Rob Morgan, Gina Gershon, Matthew Perry, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, and more.
Creatively crafted cinematography juxtaposes the beauty and serenity of life in the natural world with the harshness and filth of life under capitalism. The film’s director, cast, and crew did an amazing job creating this incredibly relevant film. Set in a world where the latest kitschy tech toy and most recent celebrity break up is bigger news than the end of the world, the film will make you laugh and it will make throw the remote control in frustration with it all.
Will there be a happy, hopeful ending? You’ll have to watch and find out.
Justine Norton-Kertson (they/he/she) is the co-editor-in-chief of Solarpunk Magazine. They live in rural Oregon with his partner, puppies, cats, goats, and beehives. She can be found on Twitter @jankwrites.