Directed by Brad Bird.
Starring George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Thomas Robinson, Raffey Cassidy and Hugh Laurie.
A former boy-genius and an optimistic teenager join forces to find the mysterious Tomorrowland.
During a 1960s New York Fair for inventors, young boy genius Frank Walker shows off his work-in-progress jetpack. It doesn’t quite function properly yet, but more importantly, the idea is there. Nix (Hugh Laurie) tells them that while the device is cool, it serves no purpose other than being something awesome to use, to which Frank replies its awesomeness can be used to inspire people into doing something more worthwhile with life. Coincidentally, that sums up Tomorrowland; a visual treat full of intriguing ideas, but unfortunately there is nothing here to inspire anyone or stimulate the mind beyond the film’s frustrating sledgehammer approach to eco-politics.
When the film transitions to the present day, at one point we see our teenage heroine Casey (Britt Robertson) being lectured on the various real-world crises that are hurting the planet, hand raised high asking “What are we doing to fix it”. Apparently the answer is nothing as teachers are reluctant to even allow her to ask questions. It’s all just more of the annoying bluntness Tomorrowland takes to promoting its message, but somehow nowhere near the most crippling aspect of the movie.
Damien Lindelof (Lost, Prometheus) is an absolutely terrible writer that comes up with some of the worst, most asinine plot devices for narratives, expecting people to just go along with it due to its pretentious and philosophical nature. Tomorrowland, with a straight face, suggests that all of the aforementioned Earth’s problems can be solved by optimistic people;literally by just being optimistic. He also inserts his trademark writing of giving the viewer 50+ questions to contemplate along the ride. Constantly characters ask if Casey is the key to fixing something, but once it’s asked for the ninth time within the span of 30 minutes and you have no idea what is being talked about, if anything it just fuels you with a raging desire to leave the auditorium.There are also huge gaps in logic, like no one batting an eye when a small marketplace shop for collectible memorabilia explodes until AFTER our protagonists escape. THIS HAPPENS IN BROAD DAYLIGHT!!!!
*Catches breath and calms down*
Essentially, when an aged, grumpy Frank Walker (George Clooney) meets Casey (it takes nearly half the movie to get there which is unforgivable) they become vessels for a battle of pessimism vs. optimism. Reason being is that Frank was banished from Tomorrowland, which is somewhat the future and where really smart people go to help make the world a better place, except the future is grim and full of the apocalypse and stuff. There is also some really dumb social commentary on how viewers consume apocalyptic entertainment because there is less to think about.
This movie is ridiculous on so many levels, and most of the time isn’t even fun. While on the run Casey is chased by androids with s***-eating grins that don’t look the least bit threatening, but rather unintentionally hilarious. Furthermore, maybe 30 minutes of the movie actually take place in this futuristic world that Brad Bird has ceremoniously invited us to.
Tomorrowland is not completely terrible though; some of the direction for the action sequences is stellar and joyous to watch despite the fact that its future isn’t really all that original or inventive, and that the story is save the world propaganda. It also has one of the most creative love interest plots to come out of Hollywood in quite some time.
For the most part however, Tomorrowland is director Brad Bird’s first misfire, and the first flop of the 2015 summer blockbuster season. There is a good movie within, it just needs to embrace being adventurous rather than preachy. Pirates of the Caribbean didn’t become the billion-dollar franchise it is by using an amusement park ride as a save your planet advertisement; it’s a cast full of charming characters engaging in larger-than-life swashbuckling action. Simply put, it’s a blast; ALL 4! Tomorrowland is akin to watching an action-packed version of the news. Hiring Damien Lindelof didn’t do the project any favors.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★
Robert Kojder – An aficionado of film, wrestling, and gaming. Follow me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook