Reel Matt

This blog started as my movie marathon — watching a movie a day for a whole year — and has continued as a place for me to write reviews about movies, TV, and various other items.

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Downsizing

Film #626

THE PLOT

A social satire in which a man realizes he would have a better life if he were to shrink himself to five inches tall, allowing him to live in wealth and splendor.

THE REVIEW

Downsizing was a bit of a disappointment, and I chalk a lot of that up to the marketing for the film. All I could recall about this movie — which came out two years before I saw it — was Matt Damon becomes a tiny person and his wife, who was supposed to downsize with him, decides at the last moment not too. No matter how you slice it, an interesting premise to be sure, with some up-there talent, what could be bad about it?

Well, it turns out, missed expectations. Downsizing really doesn’t focus a lot on the downsizing. A majority of the film takes place in the shrunken world and conversations often include talk about their very nature, but this isn’t like a Honey I Shrunk the Kids film where the fun is in how the shrunken people overcome some problem. Instead, Downsizing is an environmental film about the effects and dangers of global warming and whatnot, and the act of downsizing is how some people choose to combat problems like overpopulation.

At one point in the film, voting and human rights comes up with some drunk, full-sized, person at the bar. This was most likely the moment the was the turning point for me. It’s not that I’m necessarily pro- or anti- anything in the film, or take issue with a filmmaker wanting to cover those topics. My biggest problem was misaligned expectations. I wanted more of the, “Ooo, look, that bottle of vodka normal humans would drink is the equivalent of many many gallons to us downsized people”. Or a, “Matt Damon is brought to that bar about to get in a fight with a normal-sized dude, and oh no, how’s that going to work?!”

That movie would be a different movie than what Downsizing actually is, so obviously a large chunk of my disappointment stems from me wanting something I wasn’t going to get. Even so, I still give Alexander Payne points for the concept and premise of the film. Despite it not matching my expectations, after I realized that it was still a decent thought-experiment. Regardless of my expectations, I think I can safely say the ending would’ve been a disappointment, even if I was on-board with the film from the get-go. While uplifting, my best summary of the end is “Meh.”

THE RATING

3 out of 5