Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland
Markus Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars
I’m no lawyer, but before seeing this movie it did cross my mind as to how a huge corporation like Disney had allowed a movie that was shot on their property (without their knowledge) to find any sort of theatrical release. But then I saw the movie and realized that maybe the reason why this film was allowed a release and writer/director Randy Moore wasn’t sued into oblivion, was because his film is so incoherent, that it essentially poses no threat to Disney’s entertainment driven demographic. I understand that I gave “Escape from Tomorrow” a two star rating (it does contain some surrealist merits) but for 99% of audiences out there, “Escape from Tomorrow” may be the worst film they see all year.
Synopsis: On a vacation at Disney World with his family, a father becomes fixated on two presumably underage girls, begins to see visions during some of the rides and has a spell put on him by a crazy cougar-witch.
Beginning with a disclaimer detailing how this movie was filmed at Disney World and Disneyland without Disney’s consent, sadly, with the lack of a coherent story, this gimmick is one of the only things “Escape from Tomorrow” has going for it. Meaning, once you get past the novelty of gorilla style filmmaking (which may take anywhere from 5 to 40 minutes) what you’re left with is a weird and poorly constructed movie. Can I say that “Escape from Tomorrow” was poorly put together, considering the lengths these filmmakers had to go to get this movie made? I think I just did. Simply put: If you create a movie that has a great gimmick, then it is mandatory that the content (at the very least) comes close to matching the concept in creativity. This is a fact which Moore didn’t seem to comprehend.
While the Lynchian initial 40 minutes did keep my attention (if you’re not a fan of David Lynch or don’t know who the hell I’m talking about, stop reading now) and the surrealist suggestions of pedophilia and sexual frustration occurring in the confines of “the happiest place on earth” was an intriguing touch, the final half is so off-the-wall bonkers, devouring what little strands of coherent plot this film had to offer, that many will be looking for an escape from their theater.
Film geekiness aside, on a purely entertainment level, “Escape from Tomorrow” doesn’t work at all. And I can’t help but believe that those who will come to the defense of this film (or give it a positive review) forgive a lot of this shoddy filmmaking, lack of story structure and distractingly bad acting (the scariest part of this horror-esque story) simply because it was filmed at Disney World and Disneyland, without permission.
Final Thought: In a roundabout way, the fact that one’s love or hatred towards the Disney cooperation has no bearing on one’s love or hatred towards this movie, is indicative of a larger reason as to why “Escape from Tomorrow” fails as a project. The overbearing flaw with “Escape from Tomorrow” is that it buries the lead. That is to say, Disney should have been the main focus of this film, but instead Moore inexplicably chose to make the filming at Disney World aspect an afterthought by allowing characters that nobody really cares about to be the focal point of his feature. And truthfully, I would have rather seen a scathing documentary-style expose about Disney World (or Land) than a narrative concerning characters I didn’t care about, set in Disney World.
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