‘Downsizing’ Review

Downsizing-poster3Growing up watching the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Trilogy, I have wondered why Hollywood doesn’t make more films involving size-changing technology. Times have changed I suppose, but in an era of sequels, prequels, and reboots it would be great to revisit some of the old science fiction tromps that made going to the movies fun. Finally, we have gotten that, in a manner of speaking, with Downsizing. Co-written and directed by Alexander Payne, Downsizing is a sci-fi comedy-drama film that stars Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau, Kristen Wiig and Jason Sudeikis. The story follows a couple, Paul and Audrey Safranek, who undertake a procedure to shrink their bodies so they can start a new luxurious life in an experimental micro-community called Leisureland. Matt Damon plays a very likable character in Paul Safranek. His world is rocked when his wife, played by Kristen Wiig, decides not to “downsize” with him. Viewers can easily relate to his heartbreak and anger being left alone in a new world. His chemistry with the other main characters is pretty good and well written. Christoph Waltz does a fine job as Paul’s neighbor Dusan Mirkovic. He’s enjoying everything that “downsizing” has to offer and tries to tell Paul to do the same. Waltz plays the character as fun, interesting, and a bit mysterious. The standout of the entire film Hong Chau as Ngoc Lan Tran. Her performance is nothing short of perfect and makes the entire second half of the film. Chau brings such emotion and depth to the role. You feel for Tran’s position in the society of Leisureland and how “downsizing” has affected her life. Tran is the most likable character in the film and Hong Chau may be seeing an Academy Award in her near future. The overall story of Downsizing is disjointed and shifts a few times throughout. The shrinking aspect of the film becomes an afterthought as we could have gotten nearly the same story with normal sized people. Some of the jokes fall flat and the supporting characters one-dimensional. There are a few plot holes involving the world affects downsized people along with some unbelievable aspects of how some of them survive. I give Downsizing a Decent 7.1/10. If this film played a little more with the shrinking aspect and told one solid story it could have been better. Setting it in the same universe as the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Trilogy, would have been ideal even if a tad farfetched.

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