ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW
Review by Mark Schwab
When it was announced at Sundance last year that some guy named Randy Moore had shot an entire feature film at Disney World and Disneyland totally on the run without permission and without permits(!), I certainly took notice. Anyone with the guts to scrape together an entire movie under the nose of the Big Mouse deserves serious props right?
Alas, the stunt proved more compelling than the movie. After viewing "Escape From Tomorrow", Disney clearly saw they had nothing to worry about and let the movie limp up onto the screen.
In fairness, this is far from a total loss. The story of Jim (Roy Abrmasohn) and his rather annoying family having a very bad day at the theme park does have a nice monochromatic photographic sheen to it. And considering they had to get that footage discreetly and with a minimum of takes, it looks pretty great.
And yes, there are one or two effectively nightmarish moments but they are too few and far between wayyyyy too many scenes of an acrimonious family just bitching at each other at a theme park. It's like watching National Lampoon's Vacation as if it was directed as straight drama in black and white with weaker actors. By the time the film gets to the third act, I really did start to behave as if I was at a theme park with people I hated - me looking at my watch.
It's unfortuante that director Moore couldn't corral his wannabe sci-fi, waking nightmare, Fellini-esque imagery into any sort of coherance. Instead of drawing us in with his incredible chutzpah, the audience is left wandering around with weak performances (lead actor Roy Abramsohn is seriously average here), a non-existent plot and a confusing narrative. Randy Moore gets an "A" for production effort but a "D" for storytelling.