‘Downsizing,’ Disappointing, Confused
Length: 2h 15m
Rating: R, sexual references, nudity and drug use
This was quite possibly one of the biggest letdowns for me in 2017. After months of promotion, Downsizing held my interest. It was certainly never going to be Oscar material, but it still looked like a fun, interesting movie with a solid cast and director behind it. Unfortunately, it just fell flat. It was disappointing.
While most of the performances were just fine, the story told in Downsizing was confused, messy, and lacked any real direction. The film walked a fine line between comedy and drama, sometimes being both and often being neither. There were some funny moments that garnered a chuckle, but little more than that. The dramatic moments often took themselves too seriously, venturing into a preachy message about sustainability and climate change, and it just didn’t fit.
Paul, played by Matt Damon, decides to go small in order to improve his life. He works a dead-end job, his life isn’t going anywhere and he’s struggling financially. The only thing going well is the relationship with his wife, who decides to join her husband in, well, downsizing. Except, something happens that changes Paul’s life and he’s forced to deal with the consequences of his decision.
In his new life, Paul has more money, a nice enough place to live and a lot of time to fill. He meets new friends, has some adventures and sets out to find his purpose in the world. Unfortunately, Paul doesn’t know what that purpose is and he spends most of the film trying to figure it out. It’s at this point that the movie just gets worse and there is no improvement.
There was some brief nudity in this film, but it’s gratuitous. The coarse language used in this film was also unnecessary, as it was used as a plot device and in no way was complimentary of the film or script itself. Downsizing was also too long. About thirty minutes too long. Some of the scenes included in the final edit were just used to fill up time and didn’t really propel the story forward.
Overall, this is one film that just isn’t worth seeing. It fell on its face and was seriously disappointing.
This review was crossposted with Salt Lake Film Review