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Now showing at ABC Bournemouth 27-28,Westover Road,Bournemouth,Dorset BH1 2BZ 0871 224 4007

  • Far From The Madding Crowd
  • Home
  • Pitch Perfect 2
  • Poltergeist
  • Poltergeist 3D
  • San Andreas 3D
  • Tomorrowland: A World Beyond
  • Tomorrowland: A World Beyond (Subtitled)

Far From The Madding Crowd 3 stars

movie title

Bathsheba Everdene turns down a marriage proposal from sheep farmer Gabriel Oak because she does not believe that she needs a husband to possess or tame her. Soon after, Bathsheba inherits her uncle's estate and defies expectation to turn around the ailing farm. Gabriel, who has fallen on hard times, is hired by Bathsheba as the estate's shepherd and he continues to pine for her from afar as Bathsheba entertains amorous advances from wealthy farmer William Boldwood and dashing Sergeant Troy.

  • GenreAdaptation, Classic, Drama, Historical/Period, Romance
  • CastCarey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Tom Sturridge, Jessica Barden, Michael Sheen, Juno Temple.
  • DirectorThomas Vinterberg.
  • WriterDavid Nicholls.
  • CountryUS/UK
  • Duration119 mins
  • Official site
  • Release01/05/2015

The 2015 re-release of John Schlesinger's 1967 version of Far From The Madding Crowd provided a timely reminder of the raw emotional power of Thomas Hardy's late 19th-century novel and Julie Christie's luminous portrayal of spirited heroine, Bathsheba Everdene.

Danish director Thomas Vinterberg brings a delicate touch to this handsome new incarnation, which runs 50 minutes shorter than its predecessor and is undernourished as a consequence.

One tragic supporting character, who should shatter our hearts to smithereens, is reduced to a simplistic two-dimensional plot device, and the heroine's vacillations between three potential suitors seem more haphazard than usual in a noticeably rushed final act.

Moreover, one of these paramours has significantly more screen time, so her choice is inevitable. Feelings are tightly buttoned beneath Janet Patterson's splendid costumes and when one of the characters does eventually lose control and commits a fatal "crime of passion" at a Christmas party, we're just as surprised by the outburst as the film's clucky social set.

The film opens in 1870 with Bathsheba (Carey Mulligan) living with her aunt Mrs Hurst on the adjacent property to handsome sheep farmer, Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts).

She rebuffs his heartfelt advances, telling a crestfallen Gabriel, "I don't want a husband. I don't want to be some man's property". Soon after, Bathsheba inherits her uncle's vast estate and defies expectation to turn around the ailing farm, aided by her companion Liddy (Jessica Barden).

Gabriel, who has fallen on hard times, is hired by Bathsheba as the estate's shepherd and continues to pine for her from afar.

Meanwhile, emotionally repressed and wealthy farmer William Boldwood (Michael Sheen) makes his feelings for Bathsheba known, but her head is turned by dashing and reckless Sergeant Troy (Tom Sturridge), whose heart was broken at the altar by servant girl Fanny (Juno Temple).

These three suitors leave Bathsheba in an emotional whirl and when Boldwood offers her financial security as his bride, she turns to brooding Gabriel for advice.
"I need some who's objective, indifferent," Bathsheba tells the shepherd.
"Then I'm afraid you're asking the wrong man," pointedly responds Gabriel.

Anchored by Mulligan's nuanced performance, Far From The Madding Crowd is a visually arresting, but ultimately anaemic portrait of rural desires. Schoenaerts wrestles in vain with a West Country accent, while Sheen and Sturridge have limited screen time to match fond memories of Peter Finch and Terence Stamp in respective roles in the 1967 film.

While Vinterberg's vision, filmed on location in pastoral Dorset, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, lacks emotional heft, it packs a mighty visual punch thanks to cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen.

Rolling landscapes look invitingly wild and untamed, bathed largely in natural light, and the nascent beauty of leading lady Mulligan shines through the artfully composed muck and grime.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Sunday 24th May 2015
Monday 25th May 2015
Tuesday 26th May 2015
Wednesday 27th May 2015

This film is also showing at:

Home 3 stars

movie title

An extra-terrestrial race called the Boov invades Earth under the command of Captain Smek with a view to claiming the third rock from the sun as their new home. The Boov round up the humans and relocates the entire species. A resourceful teenage girl called Tip, whose mother was abducted, evades capture and goes on the run. She crosses paths with an outcast Boov named Oh, who has been banished by his otherworldly kin. They join forces to save Earth.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Animation/Cartoon, Comedy, Family, Family, Fantasy, Science Fiction
  • CastJim Parsons, Steve Martin, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, Matt Jones.
  • DirectorTim Johnson.
  • WriterTom J Astle, Matt Ember.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration94 mins
  • Official sitewww.meettheboov.com
  • Release20/03/2015

Humans and cute aliens unite to save Earth in Tim Johnson's entertaining but shamelessly contrived computer-animated adventure. The new dog performing old tricks on the DreamWorks block, which previously housed Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How To Train Your Dragon, lacks the belly laughs and heart-breaking emotion of those films, but merrily rehashes elements from all three.

Thus the extra-terrestrial invaders discover they like to wave their hands in the air like they just don't care to our music and the central duo discovers that self-sacrifice is an important part of friendship.

Johnson's film has some solid gags and the colour palette is bright, although there are disappointingly few visual tricks up the animators' sleeves to justify the increased ticket price for the 3D version.

In a neat piece of short-hand, the invaders turn out to be the extra-terrestrial equivalent of mood rings, changing colour to reflect their emotional state: yellow for fear, pink for love, red for anger, blue for sadness and green for dishonesty. It's a merchandiser's dream and every parent's nightmare: children begging for the same stuffed toy in multiple shades.

An extra-terrestrial race called the Boov invades Earth under the command of power-hungry Captain Smek (voiced by Steve Martin) with a view to claiming the third rock from the sun as their new home.

The Boov round up the humans and relocate the entire species to Australia. Back in America, a resourceful 11-year-old girl called Tip (Rihanna), whose mother (Jennifer Lopez) was abducted from their apartment, evades capture and goes on the run with her rotund pet cat.

She encounters a fugitive Boov named Oh (Jim Parsons), who has accidentally sent an email invitation to his "warming of house party" to everyone in the galaxy, including the Boov's sworn enemy, the Gorg. Tip and Oh are poles apart: she is spunky and brave, while he turns tail at the first sign of peril.

"If probability falls below 50%, the Boov give up," explains Oh. Working together, they forge a touching friendship and Tip helps her extra-terrestrial chum to embrace his flaws.

Based on the children's book The True Meaning Of Smekday by Adam Rex, Home ticks all of the boxes, but does so without any obvious verve, originality or sense of urgency. Parsons riffs on his nerdy character in The Big Bang Theory, while Rihanna lends her distinctive Barbadian tones to the plucky, pint-sized heroine.

She also has two songs on the soundtrack including the dance anthem Only Girl (In The World), which provides moments of unnecessary distraction as Tip talks over the top of the music.

At one point during the chase, Oh turns to Tip and screams, "This is not a sustainable friendship model." Johnson makes it work for 94 minutes, but only just.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Sunday 24th May 2015
Monday 25th May 2015
Tuesday 26th May 2015
Wednesday 27th May 2015
Thursday 28th May 2015

This film is also showing at:

Pitch Perfect 2 4 stars

movie title

Fat Amy suffers an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction in the presence of President Obama, which threatens to bring Barden University's all-female a cappella group into disrepute. In order to restore their pride, the Bellas enter a global singing competition that has never been won by an American group. Beca, Fat Amy, Chloe, Lilly, new recruit Emily and the other Bellas prepare to pitch-slap their talented rivals into submission.

  • GenreComedy, Family, Musical, Romance
  • CastAnna Kendrick, Hailee Steinfeld, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Skylar Astin, Adam DeVine, Elizabeth Banks, Brittany Snow, John Michael Higgins.
  • DirectorElizabeth Banks.
  • WriterKay Cannon.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration115 mins
  • Official sitewww.pitchperfect2-uk.tumblr.com
  • Release15/05/2015

Lightning almost strikes twice in the eagerly anticipated sequel to the feel-great comedy Pitch Perfect. Actress Elizabeth Banks nestles in the director's chair for this uproarious second outing and she confidently conducts a choir of familiar faces through soaring musical mash-ups and pitch-slapping putdowns.

Screenwriter Kay Cannon, who penned the original, enforces the message of femme power by contriving a spectacular fall from grace for the Barden Bellas in order that her plucky heroines rediscover their sisterly solidarity. Beyonce's anthemic "Run The World (Girls)" is a fitting opener for one medley of redemption, emphasising that while these girls wanna have fun, they won't do so at the expense of friendships or their careers.

Cannon pads out her admittedly flimsy premise with parallel romantic subplots and introduces a Latin American exchange student, whose life-or-death heritage becomes a running joke that limps before the two hours are up.

Thankfully, Rebel Wilson turbo-charges her scenes and is rewarded with the film's only solo - Pat Benatar's power ballad "We Belong" - that builds to a rousing call to arms for the broken-hearted.

Three years after all-female group the Barden Bellas triumphed in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, the girls perform for President Obama and his wife. Fat Amy (Wilson) suffers a wardrobe malfunction during a Miley Cyrus-themed aerial routine and drags the good name of Barden University into the gutter.

In the wake of Muffgate, commentators John Smith (John Michael Higgins) and Gail Abernathy-McKadden (Elizabeth Banks) cast the Bellas into the wilderness and mock Beca (Anna Kendrick) when she claims they can become the first American group to win the World A Cappella Championships.

Beca, Fat Amy, Chloe (Brittany Snow), Stacie (Alexis Knapp), Jessica (Kelley Jakle), Cynthia-Rose (Ester Dean), softly spoken beatboxer Lilly (Hana Mae Lee) and new recruits Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) and Flo (Chrissie Fit) prepare for musical battle.

However, the path to glory in Copenhagen is blocked by well-drilled reigning champions, Das Sound Machine, led by the statuesque Kommissar (Birgitte Hjort Sorensen) and her right-hand herr Pieter (Flula Borg).

The Bellas' make-or-break performance beckons and Beca frets about her song choices. "You're the most talented person I know," gushes Fat Amy soothingly, "and I've met three of The Wiggles... intimately."

Pitch Perfect 2 hits many of the high notes of the original film. Beca's romance with boyfriend Jesse (Skylar Astin) is inert in the sequel so the spotlight shifts to Fat Amy's on-off-on-off flirtation with Bumper (Adam DeVine).

Banks and Higgins lasso some of the heartiest guffaws, the latter spewing chauvinism with aplomb as he casually describes the Bellas as "an inspiration to girls all over the country who are too ugly to be cheerleaders".

Musical sequences are choreographed with verve, including a rousing finale that astutely goes back to acca-basics to tug the heartstrings.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Sunday 24th May 2015
Monday 25th May 2015
Tuesday 26th May 2015
Wednesday 27th May 2015
Thursday 28th May 2015

This film is also showing at:

Poltergeist 3 stars

movie title

Eric Bowen and his wife Amy move into a new home with their three children: teenage daughter Kendra, son Griffin and youngest child Madison. Angry spirits invade the home and focus their attention on little Madison, making contact with her through the white noise on a TV screen before spiriting away the terrified girl into the netherworld. Eric and Amy turn to supernatural expert Dr Claire Powell and medium Carrigan Burke to return Madison to the land of the living.

  • GenreAdaptation, Horror, Thriller
  • CastSam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Kennedi Clements, Jane Adams, Jared Harris, Kyle Catlett, Saxon Sharbino.
  • DirectorGil Kenan.
  • WriterDavid Lindsay-Abaire.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration94 mins
  • Official sitewww.foxmovies.com/movies/poltergeist
  • Release22/05/2015

They're back!... the malevolent spirits from Tobe Hooper's 1982 horror resurface in director Gil Kenan's contemporary update, which supplants old school shocks with a whirlwind of computer-generated hocus pocus.

The original film was a masterpiece of sustained creepiness and inspired wild theories about a curse - supposedly borne when filmmakers used actual skeletons in the swimming pool scene - to explain the deaths of four cast members including angelic 12-year-old lead actress, Heather O'Rourke.

Regrettably, the might of modern technology dilutes the shock of the neat set-up and renders this revamp of Poltergeist an entirely scare-free affair. Screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire appears to have been influenced by modern horror films including Insidious and Annabelle, adding demonic toy clowns and a reality TV ghost hunter to his volatile mix.

There's a cute wink to the 1982 film in his script when the family learns that their home was built on a former cemetery and someone quips, "It's not as if it was an ancient burial ground." The iconic scene with a little girl and a flickering TV screen is also recreated.

In unconvincing fits and bursts, Kenan's film strives to set itself apart from the past, including the use of 3D that only really makes sense for a nasty moment with an electric drill.

Eric Bowen (Sam Rockwell) and his wife Amy (Rosemarie DeWitt) move into a new home with their three children: truculent teenager Kendra (Saxon Sharbino), scaredy-cat Griffin (Kyle Catlett) and cutie-pie Madison (Kennedi Clements).

The family notices odd electrical discharges around the house and Madison begins to converse with imaginary friends that live in her wardrobe. "They're lost people - not pretend, mommy," the tyke sweetly informs Amy.

Spirits make contact with Madison through white noise on a TV and spirit her away to the netherworld. Eric and Amy turn to Dr Claire Powell (Jane Adams), a professor of paranormal psychology, for assistance.

She brings in two trusty assistants, Boyd (Nicholas Braun) and Sophie (Susan Heyward), to capture evidence of the parallel spirit realm, where Madison is lost. "Someone should go in there and show her the way back here," suggests Griffin.

So Claire summons paranormal expert Carrigan Burke (Jared Harris), who hosts the reality TV show Haunted House Cleaners, to return Madison to the land of the living.

Poltergeist has creaking doors aplenty and bumps in the night but savvy 21st century audiences will be wise to these hoary scare tactics. Rockwell and DeWitt are solid while Clements exudes sweetness like her predecessor.

Harris is a poor replacement for Zelda Rubinstein's iconic spookfinder, Tangina, but the remake is already on shaky ground by the time he enters the fray, replete with wavering Irish accent. When Amy tells her son Griffin there is nothing to be afraid of, she was right.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Thursday 28th May 2015

This film is also showing at:

Poltergeist 3D 3 stars

movie title

Eric Bowen and his wife Amy move into a new home with their three children: teenage daughter Kendra, son Griffin and youngest child Madison. Angry spirits invade the home and focus their attention on little Madison, making contact with her through the white noise on a TV screen before spiriting away the terrified girl into the netherworld. Eric and Amy turn to supernatural expert Dr Claire Powell and medium Carrigan Burke to return Madison to the land of the living.

  • GenreAdaptation, Horror, Thriller
  • CastSam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Kennedi Clements, Jane Adams, Jared Harris, Kyle Catlett, Saxon Sharbino.
  • DirectorGil Kenan.
  • WriterDavid Lindsay-Abaire.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration94 mins
  • Official sitewww.foxmovies.com/movies/poltergeist
  • Release22/05/2015

They're back!... the malevolent spirits from Tobe Hooper's 1982 horror resurface in director Gil Kenan's contemporary update, which supplants old school shocks with a whirlwind of computer-generated hocus pocus.

The original film was a masterpiece of sustained creepiness and inspired wild theories about a curse - supposedly borne when filmmakers used actual skeletons in the swimming pool scene - to explain the deaths of four cast members including angelic 12-year-old lead actress, Heather O'Rourke.

Regrettably, the might of modern technology dilutes the shock of the neat set-up and renders this revamp of Poltergeist an entirely scare-free affair. Screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire appears to have been influenced by modern horror films including Insidious and Annabelle, adding demonic toy clowns and a reality TV ghost hunter to his volatile mix.

There's a cute wink to the 1982 film in his script when the family learns that their home was built on a former cemetery and someone quips, "It's not as if it was an ancient burial ground." The iconic scene with a little girl and a flickering TV screen is also recreated.

In unconvincing fits and bursts, Kenan's film strives to set itself apart from the past, including the use of 3D that only really makes sense for a nasty moment with an electric drill.

Eric Bowen (Sam Rockwell) and his wife Amy (Rosemarie DeWitt) move into a new home with their three children: truculent teenager Kendra (Saxon Sharbino), scaredy-cat Griffin (Kyle Catlett) and cutie-pie Madison (Kennedi Clements).

The family notices odd electrical discharges around the house and Madison begins to converse with imaginary friends that live in her wardrobe. "They're lost people - not pretend, mommy," the tyke sweetly informs Amy.

Spirits make contact with Madison through white noise on a TV and spirit her away to the netherworld. Eric and Amy turn to Dr Claire Powell (Jane Adams), a professor of paranormal psychology, for assistance.

She brings in two trusty assistants, Boyd (Nicholas Braun) and Sophie (Susan Heyward), to capture evidence of the parallel spirit realm, where Madison is lost. "Someone should go in there and show her the way back here," suggests Griffin.

So Claire summons paranormal expert Carrigan Burke (Jared Harris), who hosts the reality TV show Haunted House Cleaners, to return Madison to the land of the living.

Poltergeist has creaking doors aplenty and bumps in the night but savvy 21st century audiences will be wise to these hoary scare tactics. Rockwell and DeWitt are solid while Clements exudes sweetness like her predecessor.

Harris is a poor replacement for Zelda Rubinstein's iconic spookfinder, Tangina, but the remake is already on shaky ground by the time he enters the fray, replete with wavering Irish accent. When Amy tells her son Griffin there is nothing to be afraid of, she was right.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Sunday 24th May 2015
Monday 25th May 2015
Tuesday 26th May 2015
Wednesday 27th May 2015
Thursday 28th May 2015

This film is also showing at:

San Andreas 3D 3 stars

The San Andreas Fault, which runs for more than 800 miles through California, gives way, triggering a magnitude 9 earthquake that decimates the west coast. Search and rescue helicopter pilot Chief Ray Gaines takes to the air to hunt for survivors including his estranged wife Emma, who is engaged to wealthy real estate developer Daniel Reddick. Reunited in unimaginable tragedy, Ray and Emma head from Los Angeles to San Francisco to save their only daughter Blake.

  • GenreAction, Drama, Romance, Thriller
  • CastIoan Gruffudd, Alexandra Daddario, Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Archie Panjabi.
  • DirectorBrad Peyton.
  • WriterCarlton Cuse.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration114 mins
  • Official sitewwws.warnerbros.co.uk/sanandreas/
  • Release28/05/2015

The San Andreas Fault, which runs for more than 800 miles through California, gives way, triggering a magnitude 9 earthquake that decimates the west coast. Search and rescue helicopter pilot Chief Ray Gaines (Dwayne Johnson) takes to the air to hunt for survivors including his estranged wife Emma (Carla Gugino), who is engaged to wealthy real estate developer Daniel Reddick (Ioan Gruffudd). Reunited in unimaginable tragedy, Ray and Emma head from Los Angeles to San Francisco to save their only daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario). Just when it seems that the worst could be over for the family, a doom-saying professor at California Institute of Technology (Paul Giamatti) reveals that a bigger earthquake is on the way that will be felt as far away as the east coast.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Thursday 28th May 2015

This film is also showing at:

Tomorrowland: A World Beyond 3 stars

At the 1964 World Fair, a young boy called Frank Walker takes a magical trip to a world called Tomorrowland in the company of a girl called Athena. Many years later, Frank is a grizzled, world weary inventor, who is haunted by his memories of Tomorrowland and the beautiful Athena. A spirited young woman called Casey Newton, who has also glimpsed this futuristic realm, gatecrashes Frank's life at the most inopportune moment and compels him to venture back to Tomorrowland.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Science Fiction
  • CastHugh Laurie, Britt Robertson, George Clooney, Raffey Cassidy.
  • DirectorBrad Bird.
  • WriterBrad Bird, Damon Lindelof.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration130 mins
  • Official sitewww.movies.disney.com/tomorrowland
  • Release22/05/2015

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 of young children, who aren't already asleep or kicking the chair in front of them in boredom.

At the 1964 New York World Fair, young inventor Frank Walker (Thomas Robinson) fails to impress judge David Nix (Hugh Laurie) with his misfiring jetpack. However, the boy does catch the eye of an enigmatic girl called Athena (Raffey Cassidy), who gives Frank a lapel pin emblazoned with a capital T that magically grants him access to a parallel dimension called Tomorrowland.

Eventually, Frank is banished from the fantastical realm and his beloved Athena. Many years later, Frank (now played by George Clooney) is a grizzled recluse, haunted by the past.

A spirited young woman called Casey Newton (Britt Robertson), who has glimpsed this futuristic realm by touching her own lapel pin, gatecrashes Frank's life at the most inopportune moment.

"You've been manipulated to believe you're part of something incredible," Frank warns Casey as they travel back to Tomorrowland to discover the fairy-tale realm has been corrupted beyond recognition.

Tomorrowland: A World Beyond has teasing flashes of the beguiling flight of fantasy that Bird surely intended. A high-speed pursuit with robot assassins around Frank's booby-trap laden home is executed at a breathless pace, and rising star Cassidy from Worsley near Manchester outshines Clooney and Robertson in their underwritten roles.

However, a framing device which allows Frank and Casey to jointly narrate the story - and constantly bicker - grates and is ultimately superfluous. Somewhere between Bird's plodding direction in the second act and his convoluted script co-written by Damon Lindelof, Tomorrowland becomes a test of endurance rather than a pulse-quickening tumble down the rabbit hole of the human spirit.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Sunday 24th May 2015
Monday 25th May 2015
Tuesday 26th May 2015
Wednesday 27th May 2015

This film is also showing at:

Tomorrowland: A World Beyond (Subtitled) 3 stars

At the 1964 World Fair, a young boy called Frank Walker takes a magical trip to a world called Tomorrowland in the company of a girl called Athena. Many years later, Frank is a grizzled, world weary inventor, who is haunted by his memories of Tomorrowland and the beautiful Athena. A spirited young woman called Casey Newton, who has also glimpsed this futuristic realm, gatecrashes Frank's life at the most inopportune moment and compels him to venture back to Tomorrowland.

  • GenreAction, Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Science Fiction
  • CastRaffey Cassidy, Hugh Laurie, George Clooney, Britt Robertson.
  • DirectorBrad Bird.
  • WriterBrad Bird, Damon Lindelof.
  • CountryUS
  • Duration130 mins
  • Official sitewww.movies.disney.com/tomorrowland
  • Release22/05/2015

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 of young children, who aren't already asleep or kicking the chair in front of them in boredom.

At the 1964 New York World Fair, young inventor Frank Walker (Thomas Robinson) fails to impress judge David Nix (Hugh Laurie) with his misfiring jetpack. However, the boy does catch the eye of an enigmatic girl called Athena (Raffey Cassidy), who gives Frank a lapel pin emblazoned with a capital T that magically grants him access to a parallel dimension called Tomorrowland.

Eventually, Frank is banished from the fantastical realm and his beloved Athena. Many years later, Frank (now played by George Clooney) is a grizzled recluse, haunted by the past.

A spirited young woman called Casey Newton (Britt Robertson), who has glimpsed this futuristic realm by touching her own lapel pin, gatecrashes Frank's life at the most inopportune moment.

"You've been manipulated to believe you're part of something incredible," Frank warns Casey as they travel back to Tomorrowland to discover the fairy-tale realm has been corrupted beyond recognition.

Tomorrowland: A World Beyond has teasing flashes of the beguiling flight of fantasy that Bird surely intended. A high-speed pursuit with robot assassins around Frank's booby-trap laden home is executed at a breathless pace, and rising star Cassidy from Worsley near Manchester outshines Clooney and Robertson in their underwritten roles.

However, a framing device which allows Frank and Casey to jointly narrate the story - and constantly bicker - grates and is ultimately superfluous. Somewhere between Bird's plodding direction in the second act and his convoluted script co-written by Damon Lindelof, Tomorrowland becomes a test of endurance rather than a pulse-quickening tumble down the rabbit hole of the human spirit.

Showtimes (Click time to book tickets)

Tuesday 26th May 2015
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