Matt Damon (Bourne Trilogy) stars as Paul Safranek, an occupational therapist who, along with his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids) decide to follow the latest craze and “shrink” themselves to four inches tall. This latest procedure is sold as a way to help save the planet due to the small amount of waste produced from being smaller. It also gives individuals the chance to get more for their money and live a better, more luxurious lifestyle. The first part of the film introduces us to Paul and Audrey, showing their lack of money and therefore their initial interest in ‘downsizing’, we also see the different reactions from everyone as this procedure becomes more worldwide – there is naturally a lot of criticism, with one character asking if smaller people should still have the same rights as regular people. We then see Paul and Audrey going through the procedure – but Audrey backs out at the last moment leaving Paul to continue alone. The rest of the film then follows Paul as he adjusts to his new life. Unfortunately this is where the film becomes incredible boring and all very strange. None of it really makes any sense, there’s no real story line to it we just follow Paul as he meets new people, and frankly it all becomes a little weird.
Considering the cast includes two comedy greats (Kristen Wiig and Jason Sudeikis), and it’s classed as a comedy, I was under the impression that the film would use humour to show the smaller people adjusting to their new lives – yes there are a few funny lines of dialogue, but I definitely wouldn’t sell it as a comedy! The writers were obviously going for a more satirical stance but this film could have been really funny if they’d tried. There is barely any difference in how Paul lives his life now he is small – other than he can afford to live in a mansion – and their community is built within a special enclosure so after a while you forget that these people are any different as there is no interaction with them and the outside world.
Kristen and Jason have relatively small parts, with Matt Damon taking the lead. Matt is a great actor but I feel slightly less towards him now after enduring this two hour film. Christoph Waltz (Spectre, Django Unchained) also stars as Dusan Mirkovic who spends his new life throwing notorious parties and is the one who introduces Paul to Ngoc Lan Tran (Hong Chau) a Vietnamese political activist who was jailed and downsized against her will. Ngoc shows us the other side to ‘downsizing’ and proves that there are different classes even in this new world.
Overall, I wouldn’t waste your time watching this film, it’s two hours of my life I’ll never get back! There are a few moments of humour but certainly not enough to class the film as a comedy, it’s also apparently a sci-fi but other than making the characters small there’s no element of science-fiction at all! It’s an incredibly weird film that feels like it’s never going to end, which is a shame as the premise of ‘downsizing’ could have given a very entertaining film if written differently.