This time the themes are of a more all-encompassing planetary nature: two hapless astronomers (played by Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio) discover a comet on collision-course with the earth and then embark on an ill-fated media tour to convince the world to act before it’s too late.
Not only a biting critique of the auto-cue pantomime of news shows, or the evisceration of social media and cultivated personalities, McKay is also taking aim at the far deeper and more frightening reality of climate change and our unnervingly global failure to respond.
McKay takes the absurdity of our cognitive dissonance in accepting climate change as a reality but politically (on any scale that would make a difference) doing little beyond performative gestures.
Just how imminent does the apocalypse have to be before the creaking mechanics of denial and greed give way to action? If this all sounds too confrontationally upsetting, McKay presents his satire with the expertly coiled and comic energy of a tight script, delivered by a genuinely astounding cast.
In addition to DiCaprio and Lawrence, the film stars: Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, Ron Perlman, Ariana Grande, Cate Blanchett, Tyler Perry, Matthew Perry, Timothée Chalamet, Himesh Patel, Rob Morgan, and (intake of breath) Meryl Streep as the president.
For a film brimming with such acting talent collectively devouring the undeniably prescient script, this is an unmissable film of tightly structured, quick-paced entertainment searing with incisive wit.