Tomorrowland is a film about people with ideas. It is, in itself, an original idea, in a year full of sequels and rehashes, with some of the films older than 30 years (there is a new Star Wars coming out later in the year I believe, though I might be making that up). It’s about celebrating people who never stop dreaming, who always strive for change and the improvement of our world.
Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) is one of those dreamers. She’s a smart kid, she builds things, is great with tools, and is just clearly on a different level than usual teenagers. Having a dad who is a Nasa engineer certainly helps. Through an odd turn of events, she is “recruited” by a mysterious, even younger girl called Athena (Raffey Cassidy), and is shown another world, a world where the brightest and the most intelligent individuals are free to let their imaginations run wild. A place called Tomorrowland.
Without spoiling too much details, Tomorrowland (and our own world, as is usual) is in danger, and with the help of Frank Walker, another super smart guy (played by George Clooney), Casey is thrown into a full-on family adventure. There’s car chases, explosions, futuristic cities, jetpacks, and just loads of fun to be had. And Hugh Laurie pops up as Nix as well, the boss at Tomorrowland.
Anybody who has seen a Brad Bird directed film knows the guy has a good grasp on emotion. From making us cry on The Iron Giant, keeping us excited on The Incredibles, and making us gasp while Tom Cruise hangs from a skyscraper in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Brad clearly knows how to make us feel stuff. And if this film doesn’t warm your heart with full fronted optimism, then your heart must be made of stone.
The main issue with the film comes on the story side. For a movie so filled with ideas, and with ideas as a central motif, it seems to run out of them halfway through. Damon Lindelof, the film’s writer, is known for setting up mysteries that don’t always have answers (Lost’s biggest problem in my opinion) and some of the ideas in this film just don’t make a lot of sense, especially when it comes to the final moments of the movie. It’s such a great universe, and there’s such a great sense of adventure throughout the first half, that we want to fully understand the complexities of this world, only for them to be dumbed down in the end.
It’s still a great feel-good movie. Both kids in the lead roles give great performances, and certainly have great careers in their future. George Clooney is as cool as ever, and Hugh Laurie can do no harm. It’s a good, family oriented, sci-fi infused time at the movies, just not a great one.
We must applaud new ideas. We must encourage them, foster them, and let them out of our imaginations. But Disney and co. should have taken a bit more time with this particular idea before turning it into a film.
Tomorrowland is currently on cinemas everywhere