Originally Published on Salty Popcorn
The concept of shrinking down characters has been done before, perhaps most famously in beloved family film HONEY, I SHRUNK THE KIDS. However, with DOWNSIZING, we get something else added to the concept. This isn’t your typical ‘shrinking person’ movie. This is an Alexander Payne (THE DESCENDANTS, SIDEWAYS, NEBRASKA) social satire that opens the door for wider discussions. Payne takes us to the not-so-distant future, where shrinking down and starting a new miniature life is slowly becoming a big thing, helping you out financially while also reducing the world’s waste and saving the environment. It’s a win-win situation.
It’s a film rich with sociological ideas and global commentary, relevant to today’s culture more than anything. DOWNSIZING opens the doors for a number of different topics, ones that you may already be aware of, however they’re presented in new and innovate ways that give them a fresh perspective. The film tries to do something different and it works. Its use of shrinking down in size allows for a much larger understanding of the world and the way things work. Their world is much smaller than ours, but it retains all of life’s woes and worries.
The first and second halves of this movie take two distinctly different approaches to the story, both with their ups and downs. Half one is more along the lines of the advertisements. It’s witty, creative, real-world humour where giant objects are played for laughs and these actors create the best of a wacky situation. Matt Damon is fantastic, but nobody else in this massive supporting cast gets enough to do to really shine. Kristen Wiig in particular is extremely under-utilized and I have no idea why Jason Sudeikis is even in this film. His scenes, as unnecessary as most of them are, could easily have been replaced with the Christoph Waltz character.
I left DOWNSIZING unsure as to whether I really liked this film or didn’t care for it. After careful consideration, it falls somewhere in the middle, but because of what it was attempting to do, it gets pushed over into a more positive light. It’s under baked, uneven and barely dips the surface of its themes, making this more of a conversation starter than an actual conversation, but I liked its ambitiousness enough for me to kind of like this movie. I think. Maybe. Probably. We’ll see…
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