Force Majeure is a movie that had been on my radar for a while. I didn’t really know much about it, but it was supposta be good. Then not too long ago I catch a trailer for Downhill and I realize that it’s a remake of that film. The trailer spells out the plot that a family is on vacation when a controlled avalanche appears to be out of control. While Mom huddles down in Mama lion mode to protect her kids, Dad runs off to save himself. The rest of the trip isn’t exactly pleasant.

This version stars Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as that Mom and Dad, skiing in Austria with their two boys. The trailer and those leads suggest that it’s a comedy. Either it’s not actually meant to be one or it failed miserably because this isn’t at all funny. Absurd, yes. But not side splitting laugh out loud type of thing. In fact, it’s very stiff and awkward. The scenes are filled with so much tension, I desperately wanted some humor to cut thru it.

It is a pretty intense setup, and I was very interested to see how the dynamics of this family played out amidst these events. But the way it played out wasn’t very interesting. There was little back and forth or exploration or ambiguity. It was cut and dry and unpleasant to watch. I mean I guess they did a good job in displaying the discomfort and awkwardness of the situations, but it doesn’t make for a fun movie. It makes those 85 minutes feel infinitely longer. And that’s a bummer. Not to mention a waste of two fantastic leads.

So I guess I still need to see Force Majeure because I feel that one may have done better with the premise.

Downhill – \m/ \n