Tomorrow fails to deliver the goods

Disney's TOMORROWLAND with George Clooney as Frank Walker. Photo: Kimberley French.�Disney 2015
Disney's TOMORROWLAND with George Clooney as Frank Walker. Photo: Kimberley French.�Disney 2015

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

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 breathtaking 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.

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 The Da Vinci Code – all hope is lost.

Tomorrowland: A World Beyond has teasing flashes of the beguiling flight of fantasy that Bird surely intended.