Cameron (Jim Gaffigan) works as the host of a children’s science show, Above & Beyond. When Cameron was a young boy, he dreamed of becoming an astronaut. Cameron is a family man who lives with his wife and two children; however, in the present day, life is both challenging and filled with many unexplainable moments. His TV show is failing to get solid ratings, and he and his wife are in the early stages of divorce.
But then comes the unexplainable. It all begins when Cameron encounters a car falling from the sky. When he rescues the driver, they, funnily enough, look a lot like him. On top of that, Cameron and his family are soon required to leave their home when a rocket ship crash lands in their backyard. At the same time, with all this craziness going on, Cameron begins to reflect on his life and question the reality surrounding him. Simultaneously, he reminds himself of his long-life dream of going into space. Soon, Cameron comes up with the perfect idea. Thanks to the recent crash in his backyard, he will try to rebuild the rocket all by himself, hoping he’ll be able to fly into the night skies as an astronaut.
Linoleum consists of many genres. There’s a beautiful sci-fi aspect here, mainly as we see Cameron’s love for all things relating to space. There’s an emotional aspect of drama for the entire duration as Cameron attempts to regain control of his life which also means reflecting on his past dreams and desires. Lastly, the film also includes lots of quirky and random humour.
Throughout the film, Cameron goes through various events and witnesses many odd and highly unexplainable things. These are played for comedy but also bring a curious mystery to life, ending with a solid reward for viewers. The opening is touching and allows us to understand Cameron’s world fully. Well, that is, until strange things occur around him. After this, viewers will be questioning every aspect. I also found the pacing pleasing, with the first act starting strongly and the third act being dramatic, heartfelt, and gripping. The second act does drag on slightly as we witness moments that took longer than I would have preferred. One example is when we see Cameron’s daughter start a friendship with a new boy who is now attending the same school.
The camera work here is flawless, and nothing visually can be faulted. Every moment on-screen is stunning, and the musical score by Mark Hadley is equally enjoyable. So many moments here effectively deliver various emotions to viewers, and it’s done effortlessly. Everything here feels natural and authentic and flows beautifully, especially in the final moments, which left me in awe and tears.
Overall, this is quite a fascinating film. Linoleum takes its viewers on a journey filled with comedy, drama, great sci-fi moments, and a puzzling mystery that carries a substantial reward for its viewers by the finale. The film’s visuals and audio score are beautiful to see and hear. Sure, some moments drag on slightly in the second act, but I must confess how thankful I was to see the conclusion, which left me in awe and tears. It’s terrific work from writer and director Colin West, and I guess you might say this film truly did take me “Above & Beyond”.