Imagine a way to stretch the world's supplies of food, water, and energy more to almost a limitless supply while simultaneously saving the environment. it can be done, but the catch is one tiny thing...you have to shrink yourself down to a mere 5 inches tall and live in new small colonies that have sprung up all over the world. This is the premise of Matt Damon's latest film Downsizing. When a Norwegian company figures out how to safely shrink people it thinks it has the plan to save the world from, well, ourselves. The beauty of Downsizing is that since you are only using a fraction of the items you buy, your money goes much further if you were small then if you were normal size. This basically means that almost every middle-class person can be a multi-millionaire overnight if they made themselves small. This is the thing that drives Damon's character Paul to go small with his wife (Kristen Wigg). There is just one problem, Paul's wife decides half-way through the procedure that she no longer wishes to go through with the permanent shrinking and leaves the now tiny Paul alone in this new tiny world. The good news, there are a lot of amazing people awaiting him on the flip side.
I just want to start out by saying that this film was not at all what I expected it to be. It had a solid message of caring for one another and our environment and just how important that is. The people Paul meets along the way are unexpected and fun to see. Christopher Waltz as Dusan, Paul's neighbor is a complete delight to watch. he is charming and funny and just goes with the flow. Ngoc Lan Tran (Hong Chau) is easily the best part of the film. She plays a Vietnam refugee who was shrunk as punishment and when she escaped Vietnam she fled with a bunch of refugees to America....via a floating TV box (again, these guys at like 5 inches tall). As the only survivor, she becomes a pretty well-known name for a blink in the world of small people. Just a year later she is cleaning houses in Leisure Land (where Paul and Dusan live). She is the best comic relief in the film whether she means to be or not. She takes no crap and is awesome to see. She works for the greater good of humanity even with her low standing (no pun intended). Even with having nothing she works hard to provide for the welfare of others.
I almost feel like this is a film I may need to watch again to really let it set in. The problem is that parts of this movie work great together and other parts don't quite go with the overall flow of the movie. It has moments where it drags and kind of loses the crowd. It is like the filmmakers where kind of unsure of what type of film they were going for. From the trailer, you think this may be a comedy....and it's really not. It is more a humanitarian film with a few sprinklings of humor than anything else. They definitely needed to spend more time in editing and I think this could have really been a top-notch film. Right now as it stands it was an okay watch, but I don't see this as a film that is really going to stick with you for awhile. It is like film fast food, that is a quick and easy meal, but completely forgettable. it is too bad because I thought the concept of this film was really original and cool.
Overall I scored Downsizing with a B-. It is not the best we have seen from Damon, but far from the worst. I would say the supporting cast are what really bring the movie home so many props to Chau and Waltz for being exactly what this film needs.
Downsizing hits theaters everywhere December 22, 2017.