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Movie reviews: Downhill, The Last Full Measure

DOWNHILL

(NC16)

The title of this comedy-drama works on various levels - intentional or not.

After barely escaping an avalanche during a family ski vacation in the Alps, the relationship between a married couple (Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell) goes downhill when his first reaction is to flee, leaving her and their teenage sons behind.

Then, so does the film itself, as it trudges through the motions like skiers stuck in the snow.

A remake of the 2014 film Force Majeure, Downhill has a premise that is intriguing and full of potential.

It attempts to showcase, in increasingly awkward and emotionally-charged ways, how a seemingly small event can have a snowball effect and lead to a profound personal crisis.

The ski resort and mountain slope settings are a breath of fresh air and Ferrell and Louis-Dreyfus are a dream comedic pairing, but the laughs are few and far between, with things resolving a tad too safely.

Their annoying characterisation and lack of backstory also make it hard for us to care amid the marital fallout.

SCORE: 2.5/5

- JEANMARIE TAN


THE LAST FULL MEASURE

(PG13)

 Downhill, The Last Full Measure
THE LAST FULL MEASURE

Surviving is sometimes a life sentence, especially for war heroes who spend decades grappling with one regretful memory.

Real-life US Air Force Pararescueman William H. Pitsenbarger (Jeremy Irvine) flew almost 300 rescue missions during the Vietnam War to aid downed soldiers and pilots.

This war drama tells of how his father (Christopher Plummer) - together with other survivors - petitions the government to give the fallen war hero the medal he deserves.

Although extremely slow-burning, The Last Full Measure intimately explores the different aspects of survivor guilt felt by veterans with deference and sincerity.

Despite Sebastian Stan being the main draw, his understated portrayal of a mild-mannered investigator is not compelling enough to carry the film.

The supporting cast delivers, especially Samuel L. Jackson, who steals precious screen time with a fully-dimensional performance as a hardened veteran.

However, the movie ultimately bites off more than it can chew, and its excessive use of flashbacks makes for a rather disjointed watch that will truly test your patience.

SCORE: 2.5/5

- JASMINE LIM

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