“Don’t Look Up” Is Actually a Conservative Movie

February 24, 2022
The cast of “Don’t Look Up” (Courtesy Netflix)

(Warning: spoilers!)

I didn’t know what to expect after reading conflicting Facebook reviews of Netflix’s “Don’t Look Up.” With its stars being among the most prominent celebrity climate activists and left-wingers, I was afraid the film would nauseate me with all of its “woke” virtue signaling. Then a friend told me that she had thought it was a conservative movie parodying Corona politics until someone told her it was actually about climate change. So I watched it. Surprisingly, I was entertained and enthralled.

In an interview, the liberal writer-director, Adam McKay, said the apocalyptic comet of the film was indeed an allegory to climate change and that he wrote it even before the pandemic began. In re-writing it during the pandemic, however, could it be he was actually subversively mocking the way the world governments were handling Covid?

The protagonist astronomers (Leonardo DiCaprio as “Dr. Randall Mindy” and Jennifer Lawrence as “Kate Dibiasky”) furnished “follow-the-data” proof that Comet Dibiasky (named after the one who discovered it) was on a collision course with Planet Earth. The White House took them seriously only when their data were verified by Ivy Leaguers, thus putting titles and prestige over hard science, a tendency for Corona politics. For example, when I recently argued with a friend about the potential dangers of the Covid vaccine given the amount of underreported vaccine injures, he “argued” that no Ivy League college came out against the medical consensus that the vaccine is “safe and effective.” Therefore, it must be as safe as the earth is flat.

A nuclear intervention to knock out the comet was foiled by President Orlean (“Orwellian”?), played by Meryl Streep, when the eccentric hi-tech billionaire, Peter Isherwell, CEO of Bash Cellular, steps in with a new panacea: blast the comet into pieces by drones and then mine it for its trillions of dollars worth of precious minerals. The mogul, played cleverly by Mark Rylance, comes off as a caricature of Steve Jobs (for his marketing savvy), Elon Musk (for his autistic bent), and Bill Gates (for his activism). Orlean agrees to collaborate with him in a symbol of Big Tech-D.C. collaboration, which has been all too evident with Corona politics, especially the vaccine push.

The handling of the pandemic, much like the handling of the comet in the film, demonstrates how science is not a discipline but a fashion, often fueled by popularity indicators. DiCaprio’s character becomes known as that “sexy scientist” (just like Anthony Fauci) when he plays to mainstream media. At first, Dr. Mindy loves the attention and lets it sway his scientific thinking, until, after questioning the science of Bash’s drone project, he can no longer hide his hesitation.

In a televised rant against political correctness and a cry for freedom of speech, Dr. Mindy says: “I’m sorry, but not everything needs to sound so goddam clever or charming or likeable all the time. Sometimes we need to just be able to say things to one another. We need to hear things.” He should be the first to line up for a Trump rally.

For breaking rank, DiCaprio’s character is cancelled and literally sent “off-the-grid” to obscurity. Soon, the comet becomes visible to the naked eye, and the world becomes divided into the #LookUp and #DontLookUp crowds, much like the world is divided now over Corona politics. The defamed “Corona deniers” and “anti vaxxers” are the ones being cancelled today for asking the public to pay serious attention to the science that shows that lockdowns and vaccine mandates pose more dangers than benefits to public health.

President Orlean is supposedly a caricature of President Trump but she behaves more like Biden. (Interesting how McKay has her posing with Bill Clinton and Mariah Carey as opposed to prominent Republicans.) Orlean, like Biden, allies with Big Tech and sets up a marketing (i.e. propaganda) campaign to tout the virtue of the drones’ “safety and effectiveness.” Orlean’s obnoxious, materialistic son, played brilliantly by Seth Rogan, is not Donald Trump Jr., but the hedonistic Hunter Biden. When his mother literally jumps ship into an escape rocket, she comically forgets to take her son along. That’s something Biden would do to Hunter, but probably more out of forgetfulness and senility than for the problems Hunter’s laptop caused him during the election.

But what gives away “Don’t Look Up’s” subliminal sympathy with a Christian-led conservative movement is the ending. Yule, the head of a group of anti-Bash misfits, reveals to Dibiasky, now his lover, that he grew up in an evangelical Christian home and that he still believes in God.  Dibiasky is touched, betraying the usual tone of mockery that leftist Hollywood have towards Christians.

When Dr. Mindy realizes the error of his ways, he goes back to his wife who had left him after catching him with his glamorous lover, the news anchor played by a riveting Cate Blanchett. Realizing that banging a phony media personality would bring him no real joy, he apologizes and invites himself for a family dinner with his friends, new and old, knowing it might be their last.

This poignant moment tells us that what’s most important in life is not fame and fortune, but the mundane joys of being with loved ones, at home, sharing life’s simple pleasures. The family, not the government, provides us with ultimate salvation. That’s a conservative message.

The family struggles to say grace, but Yule steps in and lends his Christian roots: “Dearest Father and Almighty Creator, we ask for your grace tonight despite our pride, your forgiveness despite our doubt. Most of all, Lord, we ask for your Love to soothe us through these dark times.”

Indeed, we are living through dark times, and we desperately need God’s love, acting through us, to save humankind as we know it. It’s not a message I would have ever imagined to hear from a modern-day Hollywood movie. But maybe some Hollywood filmmakers finally looked up (but can only subversively admit it).

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