‘Death to 2020’ the Netflix mockumentary by Black Mirror creators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones is only 1 hour 10 minutes long, so I’ll keep my review short too – it’s 60 per cent ‘l-o-l, ha ha ha’, and 40 per cent ‘eh, not funny’. For me, that’s a pretty good entertainment ratio!
What really works for this creation is the fact that the makers use super famous faces that are already audience favorites – so doesn’t matter what they say, some viewers will like it for the sheer fact that it is them spouting those lines. Hugh Grant plays a historian that cannot differentiate between Star Wars & reality; Samuel L. Jackson plays a journalist who tries explaining why 2020 sucked; Leslie Jones of SNL fame is a therapist who hates people; Lisa Kudrow is hilarious as the ‘conservative’ White House spokesperson/Trump supporter who claims ‘Ukraine is not a real place’, etc…..
‘Death To 2020’ is just a surface recap of the year, highlighting some of the most momentous (even if monstrous) events that nobody really needs reminding of. The makers intersperse the narrative with real news footage and ‘fake’ experts, but never go beyond obvious insights and stand-up comedy sort of material. The focus of the film was a bit of a muddle, while it’s mostly U.S-centric, they also go into UK politics and barely dwell into it, except for constantly dissing Boris Johnson’s hair. A lot of screen-time is eaten up by the U.S elections and Trump’s stupidity, which frankly, the whole world has already had enough of.
Unless you switched off from news/world events to go on an ‘information detox’ mode during the covid19 pandemic year, you won’t learn anything new from the ‘mockumentary’. It makes for a fun watch if you sit with a bunch of friends to pass time. You would either have a laugh riot or wonder why you wasted so many minutes of your life – kind of like Samuel Jackson the journalist at the beginning of this film.
“What do you want to talk about?” he asks the cameraman in the first few minutes.
“We are reliving the events of 2020” he is told.
“Why the fuck would you wanna do that?” Jackson asks with a frown.
The best question in ‘Death to 2020’.