What a wasted opportunity to make a much needed superhero film instead of some bollocks with a message.
In Alexander Payne’s new film Downsizing, Matt Damon is shrunk down to five inches tall so he can reap the benefits of being incredibly small – such as all biscuits being the size of a dinner table, and being able to crawl up inside your boss’s arse and vibrate until they give you a promotion.
Yet the film doesn’t really address the physical implications of being a real-life Borrower. Instead, it considers the impact shrinking everyone might have on the population problem and the environment – you’d take up less space, you wouldn’t eat as much, and you’d produce less waste. It even goes on a political tangent, suggesting that those who undergo the procedure will no longer be contributing to the economy in the same way as fully-sized people, so are therefore not entitled to a vote. But at no point does Matt Damon jump several hundred feet in the air and obliterate a pigeon with a single punch.
If you were really shrunk down to five inches tall you would basically become Ant-Man. You’d be able to jump incredibly high and you’d possess superhuman strength. You’d probably even achieve the power of flight if you attached some feathers and flapped like a maniac. It just seems a shame that none of this is included in Alexander Payne’s otherwise intriguing sci-fi comedy.
I was at least expecting a scene in which Jason Sudeikis gets violently mauled by a vole. Matt Damon would then come to his rescue by kicking the usually innocuous rodent into the sun. Cheesy chin-heavy man Christoph Waltz could have played the super villain releasing all kinds of vermin into their miniature community, and Hong Chau, who gives an incredibly moving performance as a Vietnamese refugee amputee, could have used her prosthetic leg like a baseball bat to hit rats into space.
What I really had trouble with was the fact that they also shrunk horses. What a wasted opportunity to have Matt Damon heroically trot onto the scene on the back of an armoured guinea pig, a birthday badge shield in one hand and a weasel’s head on a spike in the other.
Perhaps if Downsizing had incorporated such elements, the Marvel-loving contingent would have given it better reviews. Idiots.