Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Long Way Down Review

A Long Way Down Review
When I was a sophomore in high school, I was a second-year Varsity letterman on my cross country team. On another sad note, a member of my cross country team committed suicide that year. I may not have spoken to this person as much as I would have liked, but I saw her as my teammate, and I made an appearance at her visitation. It was sad that not more could have been done in order to counter this decision and I think it made me sad that someone I kind of knew had committed suicide, that had never happened to me before.
"A Long Way Down" is a drama (sort of) and a comedy (sort of) about four people who decided to commit suicide on ironically the same night. This is a decision that leads them to make a suicide pact that they will honor later. The movie is split into four parts, each labeled after one of the four people attempting suicide, and we get a "perspective" of their lives. The film stars Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Imogen Poots, Aaron Paul, Sam Neill and Rosamund Pike, a cast that should be able to make any sort of story sparkle.
The problem I have with "A Long Way Down" is that I could not have been more bored. First of all, the way this foursome decides to become friends is both bizarre and weird, and it makes absolutely no logical sense why these four people brought together by fate would all of a sudden become buddies. I am not sure what draws people to each other, and I quite understand that people with common interests will collide, but the movie paints this friendship in the most unbelievable of terms that I have to call it a wash.
Another problem I had with the movie is once the foursome create a pact with each other...then what? It's like the film ran out of steam within the first twenty minutes. I feel this idea could have worked better as a short movie, or (and this is really pushing it) a television mini-series. There was not much to do with this premise, and the movie showed it. It doesn't help that each character is an obvious cliché. Brosnan plays an ex-famous person down on their luck, Paul plays a person with cancer, Poots plays the young, rebellious girl who gets emo, and Collette feels a forbidden sense of loneliness that life has handed to her. Are these not the types of people we always see in movies trying to kill themselves?
Pierce Brosnan is an actor I usually like, and you can really tell he's trying hard here, but the script lets him down in the most fundamental of ways. As it does for Aaron Paul, Imogen Poots, Toni Collette and the rest of the remarkable cast. They all try to do good work, but the script is so basic that it doesn't feel like they are playing characters at all. The only person who brings real energy to the movie is Rosamund Pike, and no, I don't think that this is the bias talking. The sad part is she is only in the movie for roughly fifteen minutes. Shameless.
"A Long Way Down" is currently on Netflix, and I personally believe you can find a thousand things better than this. This is a movie not trying to be funny, or thought-provoking or even inspirational. Its a movie that is just...there, and sometimes that is the worst kind of movie.

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