Meewella | Critic

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Tag: Matt Damon

QuickView: Downsizing (2017)

Downsizing

“He never struck me as the kind of guy who’d go get small. Wow!”

Paul Safranek

Alexander Payne’s social satire takes a fascinating concept — shrinking part of the human population to reduce environmental impact — but fails to explore it in any real depth as he prefers to follow his usual brand of mid-life crisis tale against that tantalising backdrop. There is a biting cynicism toward a brand of faux-environmentalism in which people only engage when it offers other benefits to their lifestyle or economic situation. In “downsized” communities, minimal wealth earned outside translates to luxury living which is the real draw for most residents. Though peppered with interesting ideas, Downsizing‘s ultimate message seems to be that we ought to care for the people around us now rather than engaging in high-minded attempts to save the species. For that to be the only real take-away feels like a wasted opportunity.

5/10

QuickView: Elysium (2013)

“There’s nothing left down here. They have it all on Elysium, food, water, medicine, and they’ll do anything to keep us out. It’s time to change everything.”

Max DeCosta

Like District 9, South African director Neill Blomkamp’s sophomore feature tackles social inequality through science fiction. A bigger budget adds star power in the form of Matt Damon and a ludicrously-accented Jodie Foster, while the film’s messages are delivered with even less subtlety than before. Blomkamp’s trademark effects work delivers up highly realistic technology from exosuits to near-future weaponry, making the dizzying shaky-cam action a particular shame. With a plot that rarely surprises, and a completely overwrought ending, this is ultimately a film that sells itself more on visuals than anything else.

6/10

"A film is a petrified fountain of thought."

(CC) BY-NC 2003-2023 Priyan Meewella

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