Tomorrowland: A World Beyond review

Brad Bird's retro-futuristic sci-fi flick dazzles with spectacle when it lays off the message, man

Located in an alternate dimension, the sci-fi city of Tomorrowland is a haven for inventors and dreamers; a technological wonderland founded by Gustave Eiffel, Jules Verne, Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison. It's a place where genius can be unleashed for the betterment of all mankind, without interference from governments or big business. Or at least, that was the plan…

Unfortunately, things in Tomorrowland have taken a turn for the worse and the fate of our entire world now hangs in the balance. Humanity's only hope rests in the hands of a most unlikely trio – teenage dreamer Casey (Britt Robertson), jaded inventor/Tomorrowland exile Frank (George Clooney) and renegade robot Athena (Raffey Cassidy).

Best known for his trio of modern animated classics (The Iron Giant, The Incredibles and Ratatouille) writer-director Brad Bird's second foray into live-action cinema is clearly a more personal project that his last (2011's Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol), but that doesn't automatically make it a better one. While the Space Age nostalgia that props up Tomorrowland… makes for a refreshingly optimistic piece of bigscreen escapism, it suffers from an uneven and message-laden script that can't help but distract from the awe and wonder that fills the screen the rest of the time.

It's a shame, because there's plenty to enjoy and admire here – particularly the action scenes, with Cassidy doing a terrific impression of a mini-Terminator at times. Meanwhile Clooney oozes charisma at every turn and Robertson is just the sort of smart and upbeat teenage heroine that mainstream Hollywood cinema often lacks.

Provided you can put up with the sledgehammer-subtle messages and allow yourself to be swept up by the glitz, Tomorrowland… is worth a watch.

Picture: The first ever Dolby Vision theatrical release, Tomorrowland… hits Blu-ray with a gorgeous AVC 1080p encode framed at the slightly unusual 2.20:1 aspect ratio. Bursting with bold colours and crisp detailing, it's such an inviting image that when Casey gets her first view of the city across the field of golden corn (Chapter 3) you'll want to step into the frame and join her.
Picture rating: 5/5

Audio: Right from the off, when a rocket launches across your speakers during the futuristic update of the Disney logo, you know you're in for a treat with this Blu-ray's DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack. Expansive, dynamic and bold, it has no problem keeping up with the film's jet packs (Chapter 1), exploding shops (Chapter 5), rocket-powered bath tubs (Chapter 7) or Eiffel Tower retro rockets (Chapter 9). Like the film's image quality, this is terrific.
Audio rating: 4.5/5

Extras: Fans get a mundane selection of Blu-ray bonuses taking the form of three short behind-the-scenes featurettes, spoof outtakes from an educational video, an animated short, two video diaries, three deleted scenes and a fake shop advert.
Extras rating: 2/5

We say: Stunning picture and sound make this flawed but fun sci-fi flick worth a look on Blu-ray

Tomorrowland: A World Beyond, Walt Disney, All-region BD, £25 Approx