I have given myself a bit of time to think about this one, mainly because I needed to calm down before trying to form a balanced opinion.
I committed the cardinal sin of taking a three-day intermission in the middle of this film and to be honest, I wouldn’t have finished it had I not been under pressure from my 12-year-old fellow viewer. I spent the first hour gradually sliding down a slippery slope into disgust, my nose wrinkling and my mouth curving into a grimace. My eyes burned from beneath a chevron of eyebrows and by the halfway point, I had threatened the screen on more than one occasion.
Its big budget production and celebrity cast gave the film all the vibrancy of a typical science fiction spectacle. The visual effects department was emptied in order to fulfil the demands of the futuristic premise, but the effects did nothing to help the film, as is so often the case. It is difficult to know what to expect from a film inspired by a theme park ride, but Pirates of the Caribbean worked (until they got carried away).
Alright, so the art department did a pretty good job of creating a futuristic world to satisfy utopian imaginations, and the premise is, I suppose, alarmingly original for 21st century filmmaking, but I couldn’t enjoy it. George Clooney seemed as irritated by what was occurring as I was, I felt that Britt Robertson gave a masterclass in over-acting, and Hugh Laurie’s appearance as evil overlord played like the cameo of an amused headmaster in a school play.
Had I viewed it as an elaborate spoof of the overblown spectacle that dominates the box office, I might have laughed rather than cursed, but I watched it as the serious attempt at Disney tentpole that it was meant to be and was left with the overwhelming urge to break something.
I’ve just remembered the laughably grinning robot federal agent characters…Signing off before I get angry again.