Slumberland (2022)

Jason Momoa, Marlow Barkley, Chris O'Dowd, Kyle Chandler,
A young girl discovers a secret map to the dreamworld of Slumberland, and with the help of an eccentric outlaw, she traverses dreams and flees nightmares, with the hope that she will be able to see her late father again.
  • 6.7 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2022-11-20 Added:
  • David Guion, Michael Handelman, Writer:
  • Francis Lawrence, Director:
  • Peter Chernin, David Ready, Jenno Topping, Producer:

Trailer:

7 / 10

A visually arresting journey with strong performances from Momoa and Barkley that manages to overcome its familiarity.

Nemo (Marlow Barkley) is a young girl who lives with her father (Kyle Chandler) in a lighthouse on the sea where he regales her with stories of his high adventures with his outlaw partner Flip. When Nemo's father is lost at sea following his assistance of a vessel in distress, Nemo is placed in the care of her estranged uncle Phillip (Chris O'Dowd) who's very much a loner and is unsure how to be a parent to Nemo. In Nemo's dreams of her father's lighthouse, she comes across a burly fast talking satyr con-artists who is actually the Flip (Jason Momoa) from her father's stories. Flip tells Nemo that her father had a map of Slumberland, the land where all dreams reside, that tells the location of magical pearls within the Sea of Nightmares with the power to grant any wish. Using her father's map Nemo embarks with her living stuffed pig and Flip on a journey through the dreams of others to find the pearl and reunite with her father, but a Nightmare hunting Nemo based on her fears and Agent Green from Slumberland's Bureau of Subconcious Activities (BOSA) stand in their way.

Announced in March of 2020, Slumberland from producer Peter Chernin and director Francis Lawrence is the latest even release from Netflix. Loosely based on the early 20th century newspaper comic strip Little Nemo by Winsor McCay, the strip is no stranger to adaptation with McCay himself having produced a number of animated shorts featuring his characters, adaptations for theater and opera, an unauthorized obscure adaptation in 1984, and probably most notably the 1989 Japanese-American co-produced anime film Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland which survived a lengthy 10 year production cycle only to become a massive financial failure but did eventually get a cult following. In interviews Lawrence stated that his work on more grim works such as I Am Legend, The Hunger Games films and Red Sparrow left him wanting to try his hands at something more light-hearted and optimistic which lead to him choosing Slumberland as his next project. David Guion and Michael Handelman, best known for their work on Dinner for Schmucks and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, write the screenplay and the movie covers very familiar ground, but for me I think it does it well enough.

At the core of Slumberland, the movie is essentially a treasure hunt story with Nemo and Flip using her father's map to travel through various recurring dreams belonging to other people as the dreams of Slumberland possess hidden doors used by BOSA to keep order in the world. While some iconography from the comics and 1989 film is revisited such as the iconic "walking bed", most of the dreams are original creations with a ballroom filled with dancers made of butterflies and a city of glass some particularly well rendered set pieces. Sometimes the dreams can be a little underwhelming with some set pieces being the Canadian wilderness except with giant wild geese or one set that's just a large bathroom not particularly memorable and the BOSA being tailored after the 70s is more odd than it is whimsical. I also wasn't a fan of the design of the Nightmare as it's just a vaguely squid shaped smoke cloud.

In terms of the characters and performances I think the film does pretty well. Marlow Barkley I thought did well playing Nemo and she makes a solid audience proxy for which the dreams bounce off against. Chris O'Dowd is also very good as Nemo's uncle Peter and you feel his struggle being a parent to Nemo because he's been alone for so long. But stealing every scene he's in is Jason Momoa as Flip who gets to play into his comic side with a lot of high energy. While Flip's redesign is about as far from his original as you can get, let's be honest: after years upon years of creepy clown movies and those weird clown sightings in the Carolinas in the early 2010s (Remember those?) I don't think too many people want a clownish protagonist. Momoa is havin an absolute blast playing Flip who's sort of like a less threatening version of Beetlejuice with a air of "wannabe" dashing ladies man coupled with his brash impulsiveness that makes him fun to have an adventure with.

Slumberland is agreeable time killing family viewing that provides a fairly rousing adventure even if it doesn't go quite as full force with the concept as it could've. Overall a decent way to spend two hours.

10 / 10

Heartwarming

I loved this film. It was visually beautiful, the casting was great and the story had enough of an emotional depth to make it something special rather than just another fantasy film.

Marlow Barkley was wonderful as Nemo. I think she's going to be a big star. And Jason Momoa was a revelation as Flip. It was so good to see him playing silly, fun and heart-warming. A real change from his tougher roles. I loved them both and they made me cry. All the supporting cast were good too. Ten out of ten for all involved.

I'd recommend this film to fans of good story telling and fantasy. A real timeless classic.

10 / 10

Great film, emotional and magical

Ignore the reviews of people saying it's only for kids, yes there's no nudity, swearing, or violence for a change but it is a PG lol. Instead you have an 11 year old girl who deals with loss the best way they can control....through sleep and dreams. However this is netflix and filmland so there are twists. All are well executed and about half way through you might guess the ending (of course you will if you're an adult!) But it still has a nice 'flip' to it and is enjoyable and emotional to watch with the family or by oneself like me cuddled up with my dogs still crying in bits at the ripe old of 36...must just be a kid.

10 / 10

Enjoyed

Not everything has to be mind blowing intelligent. This is a story that reminds you of being a child but has echoes of escape as an adult. Jason and the girl were excellent and there were quite a few chuckles along the way.

I feel the negative reviews were heartless and therefore I upped my score to reflect this. I will be recommending this to friends with children as it is definitely a family movie.

We all need escapism from time to time and this a feel good movie that takes you on a journey.

Watch with kids, thoroughly enjoyed. An excellent Christmas time family get together treat.

Shame on the bad arty reviews.

10 / 10

Perfect movie

Great movie great actors great graphics! Worth to see!!Magic movie and you feel like a kid again! So many emotions that gets you in the movie fast!!!It was the best movie i have seen the last time and believe me you will not regret it if you see this movie! And the girl so good actress she has future for sure! An of course Jason Momoa perfect as always! These kind of movies we want!!Keep going like that and keep up that good work!!!! So what are you eaitimg for??Go and see it by yourself amd you will see that i am right! I just don't understand the bad comments here under this movie but it's ok!!