Spotlight: 'Escape From Tomorrow'

  • Article by: COLIN COVERT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 14, 2013 - 2:10 PM
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Jack Dalton, in a scene from “Escape From Tomorrow.”

ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW

In “Escape From Tomorrow” (⋆⋆ out of four stars, unrated; brief nudity), Disney World has the same effect on average-schmo tourist Jim as the Overlook Hotel had on Jack Nicholson. His family vacation at “the happiest place on Earth” goes wrong from the start, as he gets a phone call from his boss telling him he’s been fired. Concealing the bad news from his wife and kids, he wanders through an increasingly surreal funhouse of eerie rides, bordello-worthy Disney princesses, and threatening technocrats. Is Jim (Roy Abrahamson) having a psychotic episode, or are his libido-and-anger-based hallucinations the result of the dreaded Cat Flu ravaging the park? Writer/director Randy Moore made a huge splash at Sundance with the feature, which was illicitly shot on the sly at Disney’s Florida Magic Kingdom and has so far evaded legal action from the Mouse House (though it’s not clear exactly what they could sue for — unauthorized weirdness?). His black-and-white photography puts an unsettling kind of insinuation into images of Space Mountain and the Whirling Teacups, but the pace is slack and the story never comes into focus. Definitely a great stunt, but you spend the film thinking how much more the “Jackass”/”Bad Grandpa” crew could have done with a premise like this. (Mall of America.)

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