Alas, tragedy shortly strikes when Nemo desires one evening of a tentacled shadow dragging her father to the underside of the ocean. When she awakes, she is knowledgeable her father and his vessel actually had been misplaced at sea. As a consequence, Nemo should transfer into the house of her estranged uncle that she’s by no means met, Philip (Chris O’Dowd), and regulate to life in an ultra-modern metropolis. It’d be a nightmare if not for the escape of her precise desires.
Only when her head hits the pillow does Nemo really feel liberated, in addition to vindicated into believing she will nonetheless discover her father alive on this dream world. She actually has discovered an fascinating companion in Flip, a trickster-like presence who involves Nemo revealing that right here in Slumberland, he was her daddy’s former accomplice in dream crime.
As an infinite furry creation, made all of the taller nonetheless by his high hat and tails, Momoa is meant to loom massive in each the body and Nemo’s unconscious. Yet he’s a welcome departure for the Game of Thrones and superhero actor, who’s been considerably pigeonholed into taking part in barbaric warriors and vibing dudebros. Still, Momoa and the movie make higher use of his pure charisma through the early scenes the place Flip is standoffish to Nemo. Momoa is extra mischievous than his typical onscreen personas, however it performs higher when there’s a frivolously worrying side to that presence—assume extra Beetlejuice than Willy Wonka. The later scenes might ask for an excessive amount of sentimentality from the star.
Even so, there’s a real sense of affection between Momoa and Barkley, which ought to have the ability to anchor the emotional crux of the image. Unfortunately, there may be nothing for them to actually catch maintain to on this film’s bottomless sea of digital trickery.
In isolation, a number of dream sequences work fairly effectively in Slumberland: an Art Deco corridor of toilet mirrors that Flip and Nemo can solely entry by climbing out of a rest room’s water tank suggests pleasant dream logic; elsewhere Momoa will get to point out his salsa swagger by dancing with a stranger’s festive desires; and whereas an clearly calculated injection of cuteness, Nemo’s furry stuffed pig changing into a silent sidekick is a winner in heartstring-pulling character design.
By and enormous, nonetheless, the shimmering CGI of the movie appears like a pastiche of different dreamers’ lucid recollections. The cityscapes round Flip and Nemo fold onto themselves just like the skylines of Paris in Christopher Nolan’s Inception, and the character of Agent Green (Weruche Opia) is only a extra kid-friendly retread on Hugo Weaving’s equally buttoned up antagonist in The Matrix.