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REVIEW: Escape from Tomorrow


I am not a movie reviewer.

The buzz has been surrounding the “ultimate guerilla film”,  ‘Escape from Tomorrow’ since it appeared at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. The film secretly shot across both Walt Disney World & Disneyland was the ultimate hook – how did they get this done? How did they not get busted? How is Disney not suing them? How does this fall under parody?

This past weekend, ‘Escape from Tomorrow’ had a limited release and became available through video on demand services.

I think the real reason Disney isn’t bothering them? The film is just not that good.

We live in an age of mediocrity. We reward pitchers who lose as many game as they win with ten million dollar contracts. We vote in politicians because the few good things they did outweigh the great many bad. The fact that this film has been mentioned in the same breath as Polanski & David Lynch?

One step at a time.

The film’s style and mood are clear – and with the backdrop being the Disney Parks, the bizarre nature of the characters and their surroundings are all the more enhanced. The stark contrast of the black and white paints the framework for what will be a very bad day in the life a Jim, a husband and father of two. I’ve seen several reviews talking about how the film takes its shots at the Parks. I beg to differ. I have seen far worse and have heard far worse on other entertainment programs (see also, ‘Little John’ on ‘Modern Family’). You want to say there’s a scientific base under Spaceship Earth? Fine. That there may be witches and other supernatural beings drifting around the parks? Okay. You could place these characters in New York City and it would be a bad version of ‘Sharknado 2’. In WDW and Disneyland, of course ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’ will make the terrible images reflected in the characters all the more horrifying.   

The bottom line is, I don’t want to see a movie about someone who’s redeeming qualities are fleeting. Yes, Jim panics when he loses sight of his daughter – but 70 minutes into the 90 is just too late. We have seen Jim at his absolute worse for over an hour – jobless, drunk, lecherous, adulterer, and in my opinion, worse than all of the above for a good portion of the movie. A man chasing two young French girls, one of whom is in braces? Kinda (or a lot) creepy. You can make the argument that the big reveal of the movie defends that behavior, but the only thing that kept me from permanently checking out was the landscape and how they captured this shot or that one.

The style – cool. The bizarre mood – mission accomplished. The story – seems to lose some focus, in part (I think) to the guerilla style film making. The overall – a cool lesson in ‘if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything’. 

Bonus points for knowing shooting ‘It’s a Small World’ in Disneyland was a better choice than the Magic Kingdom.

Brother Dillo

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