If there is one thing "Upside Down" has going for it, it's the visuals. Good God, the film is gorgeous to look at. We've seen hints of a similar visual style in the "Total Recall" remake and "Inception," but the filmmakers milk the unique look in "Upside Down" in as many frames as possible. At times, the visual puns can be a bit too obnoxious to the point it becomes stupid, but overall, they portray the "dual gravity" idea really creatively. Of course, with fantasy films like this that operate within its own set of rules, you usually have to ignore the implausibilities and just go along for the ride.
However, the story is a whole different matter. As the film opens to explain the world's rules through voice over rather than showing it on screen, I knew I was in for trouble. Within the first five minutes, exposition after exposition is thrown to the audience at such a quick pace it's almost impossible to keep up. It also doesn't help that the dialogue is downright embarrassing. With the film's over-reliance on narration, "Upside Down" leaves little time for its characters to develop which consequently makes the story as a whole feel contrived.
For example, the love interest that grows between the film's two main characters comes out of nowhere. Unfortunately, actors Jim Sturgess and Kirsten Dunst don't have the chemistry to sell their newfound romance authentically as well. Every story development feels fake and mechanical where it should feel natural. Furthermore, the film lacks any real climax, so the last 20 minutes where everything should build up to a resounding resolution, instead, just fizzles out to an anti-climatic, deus-ex-machina-like ending as if the story didn't know how else to end.
"Upside Down" has a great idea that should have been a lot better than it ended up being. However, it's obvious the filmmakers were more interested in focusing on the visuals than actually telling a good story. "Upside Down" proves that as awesome as visuals can be, it can't overshadow incompetent storytelling and a weak plot.
Drama / Fantasy
Drama / Fantasy
Adam is a seemingly ordinary guy in a very extraordinary universe. He lives humbly trying to make ends meet, but his romantic spirit holds on to the memory of a girl he loved once upon a time from another world, an inverted affluent world with its own gravity, directly above but beyond reach... a girl named Eden. Their childhood flirtation becomes an impossible love. But when he catches a glimpse of grownup Eden on television, nothing will get in the way of getting her back... Not even the law or science!
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February 5, 2013 at 3:16 pm