Author Nick Hornby has had a decent track record over the years when it comes to transferring his novels into movies. High Fidelity was a critical and fan favorite and the same can be said of About a Boy. Fever Pitch, saw British and American adaptions, both strong, though decidedly different efforts, so Hornby was bound to finally hit a bump in the road.
A Long Way Down, adapted from Hornby’s 2005 novel, while not a bad movie, is not nearly as solid as the others that preceded it. The film has a great cast (Toni Collette, Pierce Brosnan, Aaron Paul and Imogen Poots), but the story they were working from was never Hornby’s best. The book and movie begin on New Year’s Eve, as four strangers all wind up on the roof of the same building at the same time, each intent on committing suicide. Macabre plot aside, the story is actually quite touching and surprisingly funny at times, just not consistently compelling.
The problem is that the actors, each great in their own right, never really gel on screen and the lack of chemistry is obvious as the four-some start to come together as a group.
A Long Way Down just doesn’t live up to the strength of Hornby’s earlier movies.
A Long Way Down/96 mins./Magnolia/2014