Based on a dark humour film by Ruben Östlund’s named Force Majeure, Downhill is a 2020 remake that disappoints. We must look at every remake with a fresh perspective, giving it a fair chance. However, this film misses the mark in every aspect. With such an amazing cast and crew consisting of Will Ferrell, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and talented writer/directors Jim Rash and Nat Faxon, you would have expected something at least on the same level as the original.
This film, and the original, follows a family who is on a ski vacation at the Alps. Due to a scheduled and controlled explosion in the ski fields, it sets off an avalanche. Pete, the father and husband, runs off to save himself and Billie, the mother and wife, is left to look after their sons.
Pete comes back to join his family after the avalanche and carries on with life without batting an eye. Billie and Pete’s relationship unmistakably goes… downhill from here. With the couple distancing themselves from each other, Billie holding in her emotions which causes a sudden outburst, and Pete trying to convince Billie (and himself) that he is not in the wrong. Emotions are high, but, unfortunately, we fail to see the extent of it from the actors and the script.
Ferrell plays Pete, a childish character that seems to not know his proper responsibilities as a father and a husband to his wife, Billie, played by Louis-Dreyfus. The childish character does not showcase Ferrell’s potential as an actor, as a result, the comedy seen in this film doesn’t satisfy.
Both characters of Pete and Billie lack depth. Although we believe that Louis-Dreyfus definitely takes the lead in this film, she is let down by a boring script. There is barely any real comedic scenes in this and the overarching issue of Pete and Billies relationship is again only scraped upon.
A bland remake that’s only enjoyable is you have a glass of wine in hand.