Somewhere in the 135 minutes that compose the entirety of Downsizing, are very strong themes dealing with eco-consciousness, environmental conservation, existentialism, inequality and social awareness.
Ironically, downsizing the excessive sub-plots and overall runtime may have been what the movie needed most.
With a more than competent cast of actors led by Matt Damon, bolstered by the likes of Kristen Wiig, Christoph Waltz, and Hong Chau, the acting in Downsizing is no light matter. In spite of an otherwise ridiculous premise, the cast plays it straight with believable enthusiasm for this scientific breakthrough.
Faces familiar to television fans, like James Van Der Beek, Jason Sudeikis, Neil Patrick Harris, and even a cameo from Laura Dern, freshening up straight after her lightspeed demise in The Last Jedi, all make appearances throughout the film, however, short of Sudeikis, none of them contribute much to the experience other than to give the audience the opportunity to say “Hey, it’s Dawson/Barney Stinson!”
While it would be easy to blame director Alexander Payne for the uneven pacing of the movie, and the straight up the sullen mid-movie arc, the real problem lies on an excessively detailed opening that does little more than provide a narrative form of exposition.
Of course, the characters introduced in this opening play some part in the final act, but given that said act in itself is guilty of dragging out the story, the point still stands that the plot could have trimmed more on the fat.
Regardless of its missteps in story and pacing, the sincerity of the cast and earnestness of themes more than makes up for the flaws, allowing even the little and late humour to function upliftingly.
If you’re looking for a feel-good movie with a message to deliver, Downsizing is definitely work catching.