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Stars: Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau, Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudeikis, Udo Kier, Rolf Lassgard, James Van der Beek, Laura Dern, Neil Patrick Harris, Mary Kay Place, Pepe Serna

Director: Alexander Payne

The presence of Wiig in this story of miniaturisation might suggest that this is going to be a comedy. There are indeed amusing moments, but on the whole this is not where director Payne's intentions lie, rather in numerous things more profound.

So one would be tempted to say that at this length the film might have benefited from a little downsizing of its own, were it not for the fact that it takes various themes and story threads, but doesn't really follow through satisfactorily on any of them.

At any rate, it's the future and scientists have cracked cellular reduction, leading to more and people escaping from their humdrum lives to what looks like the cut-price paradise of Leisure (pronounce it Leejure) Land , although why it's so cheap by comparison is something the script never properly explains.

Two such considering their future are therapist Paul (Damon) and his wife Audrey (Wiig). But, while Paul goes through with the process, his spouse chickens out at the last minute, leaving him, now five inches tall, stranded in Leisure Land.

Of course, few film paradises are what they seem, and Paul soon discovers a grim shanty town there, through his association with a one-legged Vietnamese dissident turned cleaner (Hong Chau).

The leading performances are competent, but Dern has so little to do (or say) that you wonder if this could initially have been even longer. But then, along with the anti-climactic feel of its vaguely metaphysical ending, the film isn't really successful on any level.

David Quinlan

USA/Canada/Norway 2017. UK Distributor: Paramount. Technicolor.
137 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 20 Jan 2018