I am a hopeless romantic and I love sci-fi and fantasy movies so upside down should have been right up my ally but this movie was just a little too far fetched and cheesy even for me.
Upside Down is a tale of two worlds so close that they can reach out and touch each other but each are bound by their own Gravity. The Up world is rich and technologically advanced while the down world is poor and apparently locked in the past. The story follows Adam (Jim Sturgess) a young orphan boy from the Down world whose parents were killed in an accident caused by the up world. He spends his weekend with his Aunt Becky and her magical flying pancakes. One day while out collecting the special ingredient that makes the pancakes fly he has a chance encounter with Eden (Kirsten Dunst) a girl from the Up world.
As time passes they fall in love seeing each other only in the spot where the two worlds almost meet. Once they are discovered there is an accident and he is captured the cabin is set on fire and Aunt Becky is taken from him, we never do find out what happened to her and once we flash forward 10 years to catch up with Adam he generally doesn’t seem that bothered his only family is gone.
The story progresses quite nicely in all the cliched ways you would expect from a romance movie. There are shades of Romeo and Juliet, Gattaca, Total Recall and it had the whimsical feel of 80’s/90’s fantasy movie but unfortunately the plot holes are too big and numerous for you to be able to suspend you disbelief for very long. On a side note watching this in Berlin was interesting as the movie plays on a similar divide. You find yourself asking too many questions to be able to enjoy the movie and what starts out with a promising opening credits sequence gets progressively worse and by the end you really just want it to be over. The ending is so terribly schmaltzy you will kick yourself for thinking this was something other than a teenage love story.
The movie is visually beautiful and a lot of seems shot through a fisheye lens which adds to the odd feeling of the two worlds. Jim Sturgess has a nice delivery to his narrative voice over but it grates towards the end and Kirsten Dunst seemed to phone in her performance and only seemed natural in the scene where Adam first shows up at Eden’s office. Timothy Spall is good as the “everyman” but is a little wasted in the movie.
My recommendation would be to wait to rent this one (it may already be available we seemed to get this one late here in Germany) and enjoy it for the cinematography.
Unfortunately only 5 out of 10 purely cause it’s pretty.