Extra Cinema: A Long Way Down (15)

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Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Imogen Poots, Toni Collette, Aaron Paul

A STORY of four social misfits meeting on the roof of the building they plan to throw themselves from come New Year’s Eve has all the makings of a decent black comedy.

A Long Way Down is the latest Nick Hornby novel to make it to the big screen and, recently, the Glasgow Film Festival* — but sadly, it falls short of greatness and lands somewhere near the mediocre pile.

Martin (Brosnan) is the disgraced former television host, Jess (Poots) the attention-seeking politician’s daughter, Maureen (Collette) the struggling mother of a disabled son and JJ (Paul) the no-hope musician.

So far, so odd couple (or should that be quartet?) and the four leads do their best to establish a quick bond between the characters.

Unfortunately, the dialogue is unnatural throughout, and the result is an unlikely story which never strays from feeling false.

Aaron Paul’s final scenes come close to moving — as do glimpses into Jess’s back story and Maureen’s tough breaks.

However, A Long Way Down never quite takes off — which is a shame, given its potential.

Rating: 5/10

*A Long Way Down premiered at the Glasgow Film Festival, and will be in cinemas from March 21.