Film review: Tomorrowland: A World Beyond (12A, 130 mins)

Tomorrowland: Thomas Robinson

Tomorrowland: Thomas Robinson

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Tomorrow’s world falls flat

For a big budget fantasy which vociferously encourages children to dream, Tomorrowland: A World Beyond is disappointingly – and ironically – short on invention and ingenuity.

Director Brad Bird, who cast early cinematic spells in animation with The Iron Giant, The Incredibles and Ratatouille, engineers a trio of slick set-pieces in the opening hour.

In particular, his female protagonist’s first glimpse of the titular kingdom is a breath-taking assault on the senses including the haunting image of synchronised divers somersaulting downwards into circular pools of water suspended one above another.

Once the cogs of a preposterous plot begin to whir, any exhilaration quickly dissipates, leaving us to slog through an exceedingly pedestrian second hour that is heavy on exposition and light on wonder.

As soon as one character starts ranting about a secret brotherhood founded by Gustave Eiffel, Thomas Edison, Jules Verne and Nikola Tesla – a narrative thread that might have come untangled from Dan Brown’s outlandish Da Vinci Code – all hope is lost.

Aside from a pair of duelling robots, casually introduced into the underwhelming finale, it’s difficult to see what will hold the attention.

Star rating: 6/10