Upside Down (2012)



Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Finally, some originality

We are always tired of seeing the same old stuff slapped on the silver screen week after week. We settle with it and give reasoning as to why we watch them – oh well a lot of this movie has been seen and done before, but this one scene…oh man, this one scene is so original. The movie business is just not as flourishing as it used to be because simply put, we’ve done it all before, or most of it rather. It takes a creative mind to come up with something very unique. Upside Down is one of those special films where you just think…finally. Finally it’s a movie where Dwayne Johnson doesn’t show up cracking his half smile. Finally a bunch of kids don’t head to a cabin in the woods where they are sure to die. Finally we are left with a movie that doesn’t make itself obvious as to its own direction. Finally, some originality.

First – some facts to catch up: in a fictional solar system, two planets both revolve around the sun together in perfect harmony. They are so close to each other that people can see and talk to each other from planet to planet. There are interconnecting buildings where people from both worlds work separately, seemingly mirror image. The wealthy consider the world they live in “up top” while the poor are considered “down low”.  Here’s where it gets tricky, the gravity itself has a rule in this particular circumstance – here is the rules I pulled from Wikipedia:

  1. All matter is pulled by the gravity of the world that it comes from, and not the other.
  2. An object’s weight can be offset by matter from the opposite world (inverse matter).
  3. After some time in contact, matter in contact with inverse matter burns.

So what’s the actual plot? The plot is simply a romance based solely on those three rules. Adam (Jim Sturgess) is in love with Eden (Kirsten Dunst), and Eden is in love with Adam. It’s been this way for years. There are strict rules that forbid communication between the two worlds, but love can’t keep these two apart. When armies shoot Eden out of the sky as she was climbing back to her world, she hit her head and lost her memory. Adam decides to use inverse matter to walk on her world and have her fall in love with him all over again. However, history does have a way of repeating itself.

Ok, so first of all, the science in this film is all off. Angry Birds Space has better physics than this movie ever did. Why objects wouldn’t transfer gravitational pull between planets is beyond me, but it is central to the plot, and the movie is science-fiction/fantasy, so I’ll go ahead and give that one a “get out of jail free” card. Heck, the rules are really well thought-up anyways, and may remind people of Isaac Asimov’s works, and the rules of robotics. However, if you miss these rules spoken aloud in the beginning, you may be really confused as the movie progresses, so listen close.

I shouldn’t say this movie is completely original, because there is some really well hidden Romeo and Juliet references. Star crossed lovers, their people are in feud with each other and seemingly forbid each other from being together, so on and so forth. This isn’t a super sci-fi version of the Shakespeare play though, it just may have borrowed some classic themes.

The visuals in this movie are intense. Not only when thinking up a believable look between two mirroring planets, but the scenery and lighting and everything are immaculate. The only problem is that looking at too many scenes upside down can get frustrating, even headache-inducing. Have you ever watched TV laying down and wished the TV itself was lying flat on its side? Well, it’s kind of like that, only upside down. That being said, you do get used to the way that it is done.

Upside Down is a rare film that takes getting used to, but once you are warmed up to the idea, then I really believe that you will enjoy this flick.


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