Don’t Look Up

Every end of the world movie I adore gives almost no detail as to what will end the world. These movies are more about watching the characters deal with their own existence in the face of a shared extinction. Don’t Look Up spends the entire film talking about the fact that the world is going to end, and barely scratches the surface of the characters. I was hoping for something closer to Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, and instead we got Mars Attacks.

Don’t Look Up starts with Kate (Jennifer Lawrence) discovering a new comet, which becomes a celebratory event for the observation centre. The celebration ends abruptly as Dr. Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) calculates the size and trek the comet will take towards Earth. Within hours the two are flown to the White House after the revelation that the comet will become a world ending event on impact. President Orlean (Meryl Streep) refuses to take action after hearing the facts as she is more concerned about re-election. So Kate and Dr. Mindy take it upon themselves to get the news out to the media. Roadblock after roadblock, it’s a fight to be heard so action can be taken throughout the movie and essentially the rest of the film.

Kate and Dr. Mindy are the only characters that share any relatable qualities, as everyone else is purely a satire of the role they are playing. It leaves no surprises and doesn’t play as well as I think it’s supposed to. With every one of these roles filled by star power and over the top acting it seemingly resembles Mars Attacks. By the end every character shows so little intelligence, you may wonder if they’re even worth saving.

In the end, Don’t Look Up is just another film about the government not listening, it’s just the stakes are higher in this one. The characters spend the film shouting to be heard, but we just want to know what they are thinking. It’s fine and forgettable after you see it. It would have been good if the material was thought provoking enough to carry conversations about it long after the film, alas it won’t.

Robert Ring

The Revenant

The Revenant is brutal, it’s harsh, it’s a tale about man against nature, and boy is that bear scene great!

The story follows fur hunters who are tasked with coming into the wild and trapping grizzly bears for their fur coats. However, after an ambush by a tribe of Native Americans the hunters are the hunted as they make their way through the harsh terrain to return to civilisation. Due to great injury in a fight with a grizzly bear Hugh Glass is left for dead and he must overcome his wounds to trek through the wilderness by himself. These solitary scenes are where the movie shines and we get a look at some of DiCaprio’s best acting to date.

First off this film is beautifully shot. From the breathtaking scenes of the wilderness to the long takes resembling Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s last film Birdman. There is so much action in this film, especially the beginning which sees a Native American tribe ambush the hunting party of trappers in the 19th Century wilderness of Louisiana. The ambush is unsettling to say the least as we watch as there are no winners on either side of this war as bodies crumble to the cold earth. This is only a glimpse of what is to come as we latter see Leonardo DiCaprio’s character Hugh Glass shred to bits by a grizzly bear as seen in the trailer. The story is gripping and for the most part it stays true to the events the story is inspired from to give us a cinematic masterclass of filmmaking.

I will have no qualms if this movie wins the Oscar for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Cinematography, or Best Director. It is easily one of the best films of 2015 and maybe the most technically groundbreaking of the year.

4.5/5 – Stars for The Revenant

Robert Ring