Don’t Look Up Ending Explained & Film Analysis

At the end of 2021, the sci-fi film with black comedy elements Don’t Look Up was released on the Netflix streaming service. The film was directed, written and produced by American comedian, Oscar and Emmy winner Adam McKay. However, this time humor and wit are not what the director is trying to conquer the viewer with. “Do not look up”, the meaning of which is revealed within 2 hours, frankly and evilly ridicules the structure of this world, leading to its destruction. Meaning, Synopsis, Movie Ending

Synopsis for “Don’t Look Up”

Young graduate student Kate Dibiasky (J. Lawrence) discovers a comet while working at the observatory on her doctoral thesis. Calculations of the size and trajectory of this cosmic body, made by her colleague, Dr. Rendel Mindy (L. DiCaprio), shock the entire team of scientists who were delighted:

  • the comet is huge;
  • its collision with the Earth is inevitable.

Astronomers are rushing to notify those who have the power to do something – NASA and the President of the United States Orleans (Meryl Streep) about what is happening.

When procrastination is like death

However, no one takes the scientists’ statement seriously. Indeed, how many comets, meteorites and other “dooms of the world” have already been announced, but not one has happened.

Then Mindy and Dibiasky break into the morning TV show to announce live to all the inhabitants of the planet about the danger that threatens their common home.

On a note! Accidentally or on purpose, a stylistic mistake has been made in the adaptation of the original translation of the film title Don’t Look Up. It would be correct to say DO NOT LOOK UP.

The presenters, smiling and positive, as befits the hosts of the morning show, are just as smiling, positive and very frivolous about the prospects for the destruction of the planet.

Kate, unable to restrain herself, throws a tantrum on the air. At some point, she becomes like crazy people on the streets of New York with a sign “We will all die!”, Therefore, she is ridiculed by the audience, turns into a popular Internet meme.

“Don’t Look Up,” which is meant to ridicule the philistine approach to important issues, shows how news of a breakup/descent of pop stars is more valuable than news of impending disaster.


It is not known how events would have developed further, but the president becomes a participant in an unsightly scandal. In order to divert the public eye from him, Orlean and her son, a klutz, “by pull” got a job as the first assistant to the president, recall the comet.

Immediately, a whole company is unfolding about informing and plans to save the Earth. Scientists are finally immersed in work. With the support of the “powerful of this world”, an operation was developed to destroy the comet.

Having “acquainted” with the threat closer, it becomes clear that the comet has a very valuable composition. The idea of ​​destruction suddenly becomes not so attractive, because such wealth flies right into your hands, you just need to be able to catch it. Then another policy begins to be introduced into the masses: the comet is not only safe, but also useful, since it will provide many jobs for its “development”.

Losing yourself

While the “tops” are stormy from the need to make a decision, how to eat a fish and save the Earth, the lives of the scientific duo are undergoing some changes. Mindy plunges into an atmosphere of universal recognition unknown to him until now. He is invited to TV shows, filmed in commercials. All this so overshadows the scientist’s mind that he leaves his wife for a smiling, charming host of the morning show. And Kate gets a job in a store, where she meets a nice guy who has long been in love with her, like in an Internet meme.

One evening the comet enters the field of view from Earth. But even here, it would seem, in the presence of indisputable evidence of an impending disaster, people are divided into two camps:

  • some, seeing a comet flying towards the Earth, understand the inevitability of the end;
  • others prefer to simply not look up so as not to see any problem.

On a note! This is the meaning of the film’s title “Don’t Look Up”. Turning a blind eye to the inevitable creates a false sense of security. How long?

Eternal values

Realizing that there is less and less hope for saving the planet, Randall suddenly realizes that he would like to meet the end of the world with his family. He drops everything and goes to his wife. Along the way, picks up Kate with her newfound boyfriend.

All people close to each other gather at the same table. The wife who forgave her husband, blinded by power, his adult children, friends – only now Randall feels happy and calm for the first time in months. Now, a few hours before the death of mankind.

Meanwhile, the cream of society, having plunged into a shuttle with a cryochamber, set off to look for another planet suitable for life. By the way, Madame President calls Mindy before leaving, suggesting that he go with them. However, the scientist, who has already tasted the life of the elite, does not hesitate to stay with his family, meeting the end holding the hands of his loved ones. In the power of love, in the beauty of sincere human relationships lies the secret meaning of the film Don’t Look Up.

On a note! Only after the shuttle takes off, Orleans remembers that she forgot to take with her … her son-klutz.

Scenes after the credits

Do not rush to leave the cinema hall at the beginning of the final credits. After all, at the end of them, the viewer is waiting for two scenes that put an end to it. Or an ellipsis?

The shuttle “lands” on a wondrous planet inhabited by prehistoric animals. Does humanity get a chance to start all over again? But no, unearthly creatures are happy to eat the president and look at the rest of the guests from the Earth.

And in the meantime, on Earth, from under the rubble, the President’s son-klutz appears, who survived after the fall of the comet. Looking around, he grabs his phone to post on social media.

Don’t Look Up: The Meaning of the Movie

The comet appears in the film as a powerful metaphor that includes all sorts of threats to humanity. These include the greenhouse effect, global pollution of the Earth, violence against flora and fauna.

What stops people from fighting the negative consequences that bring death to humanity? Lots of very important things:

  • power struggle;
  • social network;
  • scandals and intrigues in a star party;
  • obtaining financial benefits;
  • unwillingness to look up, saving a calm existence and much more.

All this causes passivity in solving the problems of those influential citizens who can really solve them.

Interesting! Leading actor Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the climate change activists. According to him, in the film “Don’t Look Up” the point is to display “a critical inability to hear and listen to scientific truths.”

But nevertheless, humanity has a chance. Hope is not lost if everyone joins their efforts to save their common home – the Earth. Only by looking at the problem in the face, only by “looking up” is it possible to take the first step towards its solution. Otherwise, stupid humanity deserves nothing but death. So can the real ending of “Don’t Look Up” be avoided? We’ll see in a couple of decades.

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