Don’t Look Up? Just don’t look.

Don't Look Up? Just don't look.

When it comes to science fiction, I’m a fan. Same goes for armageddon movies. And for politics.

So when Don’t Look Up started to get excellent reviews not just from professional critics, but also on wider social media and from personal friends it was a bit of a no-brainer. Unfortunately that rather summed up the content of the film script, which is a shame because it was rather of a waste of the very fine, if not stellar, cast which had been assembled. Anything in which Mark Rylance has a part is likely to be worth a look, up or down.

The premise was rather engaging, with lots of topical resonnace – the world faces an unimaginable horror and we rely on corrupt and incomptnetent politcians and business leaders to avert disaster. Don’t Look Up becomes the chant of politicans who want to hide a big lie inside a simple slogan. And this is a major flaw of the film’s storyline. We’ve heard bigger lies in real life slogans only too recently.

Get Brexit Done!

Lock her up!

Stop the vote!

And, of course, the current Coronavirus pandemic has lead to even more extraordinary claims and conspiracy theories, although fortunately these have mainly come from the crank fringes – yes, you Piers Corbyn – rather than governments of the world, with one or two exceptions.

Meryl Streep did well as Donald Trump light, but who needs DT light when we’ve had the full fat version so very recently, let alone our very own Rt Hon Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson Prime Minister and Village Idiot. And even Donald Trump would not have have got away with saying to the rest of the world “hold my beer’ when they asked if he could save us from catastrophe. So all in all we have a faintly amusing, fairly lightweight ‘good (but flawed) scientists’ versus ‘bad (but, well nothing, just bad) politicians’ with one or two, no more, laugh out loud moments.

But, I hear you say, isn’t simply the back drop for a planet destroying, armageddon story with fantastic visuals and special effects? I’m afraid not. It’s like having the Coronavirus pandemic discovered by a couple of local GPs who then try to convince the world via the local news channel using a Flipchart and Windows XP and with images of the virus crocheted by your mum.

If you want a  proper earth calamity story in the same vein then Deep Impact does it better. If you want satire about venal politicians and business people there are a myriad from which to choose. If you want a film which exposes the lack of action from governments and corporations across the world in the face of climate emergency, then you’re better off watching Attenborough’s A Life on Our Planet. But if you want to spend 2 and a bit hours in the company of a mostly harmless and completely undemanding film then this will probably do the job.

★★
Cinemas pretty much nationwide, and Netflix.