Title: A Long Way Down
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Aaron Paul, Imogen Poots
Run time: 92 minutes
Released: 28th July 2014
Adapted from the bestselling novel by British writer Nick Hornby (High Fidelity, About a Boy) and with an all-star cast A Long Way Down follows four disillusioned strangers who meet on New Year’s Eve, at the top of a building, each ready to jump and end it all - for varying reasons.
The four lead characters are: disgraced TV presenter Martin (Brosnan), lonely single mother Maureen (Colette), loser, pizza delivery guy J.J. (Paul) and misunderstood teen Jess (Poots). They form an unlikely friendship and make a pact not to kill themselves and try to find meaning in life. After their story ends up in the newspapers and on television, they take a break from the media by taking a holiday togetherů but once they get back to real life will their problems be waiting for them and can they change their outlooks in order to improve their lives?
The direction is fairly smooth but there is nothing out of the ordinary on display. The actors don’t fare much better. The storyline is fairly mediocre that doesn’t give it’s characters much to do, or the actors playing them. There could have been more emotional scenes considering the topic of suicide and the lives behind the hurt. Why do they want to commit suicide? The reasons are simply not examined closely enough.
Pierce Brosnan brings very little of his Bond charm to the character of Martin and Toni Colette doesn’t really get involved with her character as deeply as she might have considering the possibilities, she could have been much more interesting. Aaron Paul fairs a little better but his character lacks anything to really do. He says he has cancer, but then he admits that he was lying so it’s not what was expected. Paul, an excellent dramatic actor (as we know from TVs Breaking Bad) is wasted here. Only Poots really gets into her character, exploring the feelings of hurt and loss at her sister’s disappearance and death. She’s real, raw and visceral. She easily produces the best performance of the quartet, but that is admittedly made easier for her, by her having the most interesting character and dialogue.
Ultimately, however despite some faults and a lack of depth, A Long Way Down is enjoyable, there is humour and warmth. It could have been more, but it still has just enough on offer to hold viewer interest for the full runtime.