I can safely say that it’s a rarity for me to get halfway into a movie thinking “Say, this could be one of the year’s best films!” only to have it become one of the year’s worst films in its second half. That’s what happened when I watched the latest Matt Damon vehicle, director Alexander Payne’s (Election, Sideways) punishably off-balanced Downsizing. The film starts as brilliant satire mixed with science fiction. Scientists have discovered a way to reduce resource consumption on our planet by shrinking people and putting them into miniature utopian communities. Not only do humans generate less trash, but their finances improve in the downsized communities. A standard bank account goes from being worth thousands to millions. Damon plays Paul, an occupational therapist at Omaha Steaks living a humdrum life from paycheck to paycheck. He and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) are tantalized by the idea of being millionaires in a new world, getting out of their crowded house and into something a little roomier with a nice pool. They decide to take the plunge and get small. Paul completes the process and miniaturizes, but Audrey has some complications during the head-shaving part. So, Paul winds up all alone in a newly shrunken world, and he’s completely pissed off. Up until this point, the film is everything you want out of this kind of movie. It’s clever, with Damon tapping into his laidback comic charms, with a screenplay that’s full of interesting insights. Visually, it can even be called a triumph. Scenes of full-sized adults chatting with mini people are seamless. To say that I was impressed would be an understatement. This movie was racing up my Best Of 2017 list. Then, it takes an epic dump—a giant, King Kong shit on the screen. After maintaining a respectable level of charm until its halfway point, Downsizing rapidly disintegrates into utter boredom and nonsense.