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Comet of Deliverance

A socio-spiritual review of Don't Look Up

I’m taking time off writing a long and frustrating essay to review a film I saw last night, Netflix’ popular Don’t Look Up. Spoiler alert! Maybe best to watch it first.

In the film, a planet-killing comet is headed toward earth. The world responds mostly with disbelief. Humanity lowers its eyes onto its cellphone screens, memes, celebrity news, and political spectacles, avoiding the truth of what science is plainly telling them. There is a chance to deflect the comet—but will humanity be able to unite in the seriousness of that task enough to actually accomplish it?

The film is one on level a hilarious portrait of our society at its most superficial. Its supporting characters are comically and deliberately overdrawn—but not so much that we cannot recognize their type among our public figures. Its portrayals of media and social media silliness likewise elicit uncomfortable laughter, uncomfortable because they need exaggerate so little.