Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1162/33579

From The Socialist newspaper, 12 January 2022

Film: 'Don't Look Up'

An entertaining satire on corporate power and the US establishment

Saving the world means taking on capitalism! photo Netflix

Saving the world means taking on capitalism! photo Netflix   (Click to enlarge)

Reviewed by Niall Mulholland

The movie satire, 'Don't Look Up', became a major hit over the Christmas holiday season. The dark comedy, written and directed by Adam McKay, concerns a desperate attempt by scientists to alert the US establishment about a huge meteorite set to hit the Earth, with catastrophic consequences.

As well as sending up the Trump-like political establishment and its anti-scientific views, the movie also attacks the billionaire-owned media and big corporations.

The film has struck a chord with millions of people who fear the consequences of climate change. It also resonates with many people who rightly consider the woeful Covid policies of many governments as culpable in the deaths of millions.

Yet 'Don't Look Up' has divided opinion, including on the left. Some pan it as too heavy-handed and preaching (which it can be, on occasions). Others admire the movie assailing the political establishment's obedience to short-term corporate profit-making, that means scientists' warnings about global warming are ignored or played down.

When the film's two main characters, the scientists Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) and Dr Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio), warn US President Janie Orlean (Meryl Streep) that the comet will hit Earth in just over six months and destroy life, they are blithely told: "We'll sit tight and assess".

Frantic to let the world know of the impending disaster, and ignored by serious media, Dibiasky and Mindy appear on the banal The Daily Rip, whose hosts, Brie Evantee (Cate Blanchett) and Jack Bremmer (Tyler Perry), belittle the danger.

At the same time, a menacing figure, Peter Isherwell (brilliantly played by Mark Rylance), the billionaire head of the BASH corporation, convinces President Orlean that instead of deploying nuclear arms to destroy the meteorite, BASH mining the comet for its minerals takes priority.

While Mindy is temporarily seduced by the BASH plan and his celebrity status, Dibiasky manages to let the world know that the White House puts profits before planet. The masses are polarised between those who believe the scientific warnings and those who follow the White House advice to ignore doomsayers. "Don't look up!" is the rallying cry of the demented right at mass rallies, even as the comet can be seen hurtling towards Earth.

Don't Look Up is an entertaining movie with an urgent message, a fine acting cast and has some very strong scenes. Its main strength is highlighting impending environmental disaster and how big business and the main American political parties are part of the problem not the solution.

While a fictional movie about environmental catastrophe is not obliged to provide a worked-out programmatic solution, the main weakness with Don't Look Up lies in the representation of the masses as too fatalistic and easily manipulated by right-wing demagogues. Surely the clock ticking down towards Earth's oblivion would provoke uprisings and revolutions, as the masses sought to find a way to remove incompetent, profit-driven administrations and to save humanity and the planet?

Notwithstanding its flaws, Don't Look Up speaks to a young radicalised generation who fear what the future holds when governed by a degenerate ruling class and politicians who put profit above all else.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 12 January 2022:


News

Super-rich get richer, while we can't make ends meet. Join the fightback!

Blow to establishment as jury backs Colston Four

Covid, stress and cutbacks fuel school staff shortages

Tories concede under cladding pressure but don't go far enough

Low pay, stress and Covid drive: NHS staff crisis

Shameless Johnson partied through lockdown

Energy price crisis: nationalise energy giants to save us from £600 hit

Energy bosses: 'Jump, cuddle and eat porridge while we raise prices'


Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan: Working-class revolt only suppressed by massive mobilisation of troops

Solidarity with workers protesting in Kazakhstan


Campaigns news

Protests against BBC transphobia

Leeds People's Budget: We beat council cuts before, we will again

Communities fight back against Rio Tinto mine

North London NHS - "It's going to be us who saves it"

Southampton student vote for online exams must be accepted


Workplace news

Coventry bin workers' pay strike

10,000 tube workers vote to strike over jobs, terms and pension cuts

East Mids rail conductors force concessions, train managers' dispute continues

Carmarthenshire gritters take action as Plaid-led council reneges on agreement

Jobcentre Coronavirus outbreak leads to reps meeting call

South Yorkshire bus strikes spreading and getting stronger

Weetabix workers defeat 'fire and rehire' and ballot on improved pay offer

Invergordon Royal Mail mutiny wins


Reviews

Don't Look Up: An entertaining satire on corporate power and the US establishment

Anne: Hillsborough and the fight for justice

Money Heist: A Robin Hood tale set in modern-day capitalism


Readers' opinion

War criminal Tony Blair knighted

Bullying weighing room culture at the races

Free prescriptions? Maybe when you're older


Obituaries

Obituary - Pauline Wall

Obituary - Ethan Bradley 1993-2021


 

Home   |   The Socialist 12 January 2022   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Film:

triangleFilm review: The Harder They Fall

triangleTV Review - Help: Heart-wrenching portrayal of Covid care home crisis

triangleFilm Review: Martin Eden

triangleFilm review: Nomadland

triangleFilm Review: Moxie

US:

triangleNorth London NHS - "It's going to be us who saves it"

triangleEnergy price crisis: nationalise energy giants to save us from 600 hit

Profit:

triangleSexism, safety and the profit system

triangleEnd profit-fuelled crisis

Media:

triangleTV Review: GB News

triangleStop the Channel 4 sell-off!

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

12/1/22

Hillsborough

Anne: Hillsborough and the fight for justice

12/1/22

Capitalism

Money Heist: A Robin Hood tale set in modern-day capitalism

12/1/22

Film

Don't Look Up: An entertaining satire on corporate power and the US establishment

12/1/22

Tony Blair

War criminal Tony Blair knighted

12/1/22

Sport

Bullying weighing room culture at the races

12/1/22

Government

Free prescriptions? Maybe when you're older

15/12/21

Workers

Christmas quiz of 2021

15/12/21

Review

TV review: Vaccine Wars: The Truth About Pfizer

8/12/21

Film

Film review: The Harder They Fall

8/12/21

RMT

Mail attacks tube strikers by stealing socialist's image

1/12/21

Review

TV review: Valley of the Tears

24/11/21

Socialism

What did you think of Socialism 2021?

24/11/21

Obituary

Obituary: Ted Austin (1940-2021) - working-class socialist stalwart

17/11/21

Cricket

Readers' opinion

10/11/21

Racism

John Barnes on class and capitalism. What's missing?

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


January 2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999