(CNN)In a expansive subject fabrication tradition, "Don't Look Up" uses a disaster-movie model arsenic a metaphor for a reality-based crisis, with a immense comet hurtling toward Earth arsenic a surrogate for indifference to addressing clime change. Yet this star-studded, highly provocative satire astatine times veers disconnected people itself, partially undermining its admirable qualities with the broadness of its tone.
At its core, writer-director Adam McKay (who wrote the publication with journalist/activist David Sirota) delivers a precise pointed treatise connected the dysfunctional authorities of existent authorities and media, successful which everyone is truthful myopic arsenic to beryllium incapable to absorption connected an existential threat. The rubric reflects the inevitable endpoint of that, with a bury-your-head-in-the-sand attack to impending doom.
The model into that absurdity comes erstwhile astronomy prof Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his PhD. pupil Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) observe the comet, whose trajectory volition pb to a nonstop collision with Earth successful a small implicit six months.
Understandably alarmed, their findings rapidly scope the White House, wherever the president (Meryl Streep, poorly served by the ridiculousness of her character) is excessively preoccupied with her endangered Supreme Court prime to absorption connected what Randall describes arsenic an extinction-level event. After fruitless backmost and forth, she concludes that they'll "sit choky and assess" the situation.
From there, "Don't Look Up" is disconnected to the races with a scathing indictment of everything astir our media and governmental ecosystem, from the happy-talk quality amusement (anchored by Tyler Perry and Cate Blanchett, lasting retired arsenic particularly self-absorbed TV anchors) to websites preoccupied with postulation and social-media memes.
McKay and Sirota present a spot-on onslaught connected however easy distracted radical (especially successful media) are, fixating connected Kate's hairsbreadth and apparel and ignoring the substance of her message.
The attempts to marque that point, however, careen wildly successful antithetic directions, from a tech billionaire (Mark Rylance, adopting a not-of-this-world accent) who sees opportunities to currency successful connected the comet's earthy resources to the president's main of unit (Jonah Hill), who tin lone spot the menace successful presumption of however it mightiness interaction the midterm elections.
Still, "Don't Look Up" keeps getting sidetracked, acknowledgment successful portion to piling up celebrities successful insignificant roles (witness Timothée Chalamet's belated entranceway for nary peculiar reason) and pursuing subplots that resistance retired the hostility connected whether these flawed leaders volition find the fortitude and sobriety to instrumentality action.
DiCaprio (whose climate-change activism included producing the documentary "Ice connected Fire") and Lawrence are some precise good, but galore of the different bold-faced names fundamentally service arsenic flashy and somewhat unnecessary model dressing.
McKay's "The Big Short" and "Vice" correspond his astir evident antecedents successful tackling large institutions successful a darkly satiric way, but the movie owes a indebtedness to "Dr. Strangelove" arsenic well, casting its nett wider with higher (indeed, the highest) stakes. The rubric surely does a batch of dense lifting, capturing the prevailing effect to inconvenient news.
As was intelligibly its intention, "Don't Look Up" uses satire to spur a speech astir perchance ignoring a situation until it's excessively late. It's a sobering message, but 1 that comes barreling toward america done the lens of an uneven movie.
"Don't Look Up" premieres Dec. 10 successful prime theaters and Dec. 24 connected Netflix. It's rated R.