SHOWCASE CINEMAS PETERBOROUGH, OUT NOW
CAST: GEORGE CLOONEY, BRITT ROBERTSON, HUGH LAURIE, RAFFEY
CASSIDY, KEEGAN-MICHAEL KEY & TIM McGRAW
RUNNING TIME: 2 HRS 10 MINS
DIRECTOR: BRAD BIRD
This fails to build on a genuinely exciting premise by lacking the very imagination that should have been its most overwhelming factor, writes Gavin Miller.
Based on the famous themed land in Disney’s California and Orlando-based parks – and obviously looking for a small portion of the success that the Mouse House’s famous ride-turned-movie Pirates of the Caribbean has achieved – this sci-fi adventures initially shows so much promise.
It starts off with young rocket-pack inventor Frank Walker (Thomas Robinson) finding his way to a magical futuristic world after meeting fellow technological enthusiast Athena (Raffey Cassidy) at New York’s 1964 World Fair – the very event that Walt Disney first showcased the likes of It’s a Small World and Carousel of Progress.
We’re then whisked off to the present day where optimistic teenager Casey (Britt Robertson) comes across a special pin with the letter ‘T’ on it that transports her to the very same cityscape whenever she touches it.But unfortunately the powers that be – primarily the de facto leader Nix (Hugh Laurie) – haven’t revealed Tomorrowland’s existence to the world, and sends killer androids to make sure it remains that way, putting Casey’s life in danger.
That is until she locates a now grown-up Frank (George Clooney) – who was banished from this once-idyllic utopia – and bound by a shared destiny, embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of this place in another dimension.
Sadly, while that sounds all well and good, The Incredibles director Brad Bird, Clooney, Robertson and co – despite their best collective efforts – can’t prevent this audacious and well-intentioned attempt collapsing under the weight of a half-baked ‘eco-babble’ story, which has more in common with Michael Jackson’s ‘Earthsong’ than the land it’s meant to be based on.
It’s kind of like the producers and writers ran out of ideas in a ‘brainstorming’ session – then decided to play the now stereotypical ‘humans killed the world’ card.
So in the land that is meant to portray to you as a child that ‘anything is possible’ – just like it was for me when my parents fortunately took me from 1983 onwards – very little actually happens despite some terrific visual effects, leaving this as a very glitzy, but hollow, disappointment.
And that’s leaves a film that is trying so hard to be the ‘Space Mountain’ of roller-coaster movies – ending up being as pedestrian as the ‘People Mover’.