To combat global warming and other planet resource-gobbling issues, scientists have devised a way to shrink people to an average of 5 inches in height. They’re then put into little cities where their money is much more valuable than it is at normal height. It appears that everyone is rich.
Matt Damon is Paul. Unhappy in his work and with life, Paul and his wife take the plunge. Or at least he does. What he finds in Leisureland is far from the perfection promised. The story has Paul connecting with his rich, unscrupulous upstairs neighbor and a Vietnamese refugee.
They’re done by Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning character actor Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) and Thailand born actress Hong Chau. Waltz — like a great cast of character actors, Damon and some wonderful cameos — is wasted. She is not. If there is a reason to see Downsizing, it’s Chau.
Alexander Payne (The Descendants, Nebraska) writes and directs his first film in four years. He’s usually spot on with story and character development. In this one, Chau is the only multi-layered character and will get award nominations — and might even win a few — for her work.
Payne’s disappointing movie will not. A premise this creative demands a darker, more impactful plot. Downsizing is (pun intended) a little disappointing, a great premise totally wasted with a script and a premise that by mid-movie has nowhere to go but (ahem) down.
Movie name: ‘Downsizing’
Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau, Kristen Wiig, Udo Kier, Jason Sudeikis, Neil Patrick Harris, Laura Dern, Margo Martindale, James Van Der Beek, Mary Kay Place, Don Lake
Mr. Movie rating: Mr. Movie rating: 2 1/2 stars
Rated R for mature themes, language and graphic nudity. It’s playing at the Fairchild Cinemas Pasco and Queensgate 12s, the AMC Kennewick 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.