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Tomorrowland: A World Beyond


Stars: George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie, Raffey Cassidy, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key, Judy Greer, Thomas Robinson

Director: Brad Bird

Woolly junior sci-fi from the Disney stable, which looks pretty small beer compared with the mega-scale offerings from Marvel. It takes a while for the strands of the story, such as it is, to come together. Frank (Clooney), relating his history to an unseen cinmpanion, takes us back to 1964 where, at the New York World's Fair, 10-year-old Frank (Robinson) turns up at the Hall of Invention with a jet pack he's made himself, designed to send him soaring into the air.

Sceptically received by Nix (Laurie, without his gruff House accent), but encouraged by the impish 11-year-old Athena (Cassidy), Frank comes into possession of a badge (or, as the Americans say, pin) with 'T' on it that triggers him through a portal into Tomorrowland...

Fast-forward to today and teenage scientific genius Casey (an overage-looking Robertson) keeps sabotaging a soon-to-close NASA station to help her engineer father (Tim McGraw) stay in business for a few more weeks.

She too is given a badge, a touch of which lands her in the middle of a cornfield. Athena reappears, robot 'men in black' are after the two of them, and the trail leads to a now 60-year-old Frank, a loner closeted in a high-tech HQ with innumerable exit strategies.

Sure enough, the yarn ends up back in Tomorrowland.

The film, though, descends further and further into silliness, and the last scene really is too much. Clooney (especially), Robertson and Laurie are OK, but Cassidy needs a good few acting lessons and harms the narrative every time she appears. The action and gadgetry may impress junior schoolers, but older children these days are demanding something more.

David Quinlan

USA 2015. UK Distributor: Walt Disney. Colour by Fotokem.
130 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 17 May 2015