Starring: George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy, Tim McGraw, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key
Directed by: Brad Bird
Synopsis: A bright, young, rebellious teenager girl named Casey is given a strange pin that can transport her to a futuristic dimension. But as it turns out that future ain’t so bright and she has to seek help with an older inventor to fix not only Tomorrowland’s troubles but also the present day Earth.
What work(s): This is one of those futuristic sci-fi pictures that must be seen on the big screen because it’s beautiful. It’s gorgeously shot and the colors are very vibrant (in other words, no fargin’ teal and orange). The lead, Britt Roberston who plays Casey, is fantastic and I hope to see her star in more flicks in the near future. Other than that, I’m afraid I’m at a loss at what else to praise. Clooney was alright as a cantankerous old man but he was still too handsome to really pull it off.
What fail(s): The plot of the film is sadly paper-thin and I’m still scratching my head over some key points of the film. It’s also all over the place and totally uneven. And the greater sin is it’s too preachy and full-of-itself as well as a long commercial/brown-nosing to Disney. Without giving too much away, Casey is given a special pin that can take her to a simulation of Tomorrowland, a secret futuristic utopian dimension wherein only geniuses, inventors, thinkers, and “dreamers” inhabit the world. So in other words, no politics and bureaucrats to muck things up. A young George Clooney was invited to this world by a robotic little girl named Athena because he’s a “dreamer” but was exiled out because he invented something bad. (This really isn’t explained. And if it was it was either too convoluted or dumb to be effective) Clooney is now a grizzled, paranoid recluse. Athena finds and recruits Casey to meet up with Clooney so they can save Tomorrowland. Athena thinks Casey’s young vibrant mind can fix the problem in Tomorrowland. It ends up she really doesn’t fix anything but just offers the simplest and weakest suggestion for solving the crisis. Clooney did way more to help the situation and the movie also suggests that Casey’s perky optimism is what “fixed” Clooney to doing the right thing. Boo! But another problem is that I’m not sure whose the lead in this film. It starts with a young Clooney character in the 1960s and then shifts to Casey and then basically makes Clooney the star again.
The other thing that bugged me was while on Earth, Casey and Athena are hunted by Tomorrowland’s ‘Men in Black’ to ultimately kill her and anyone who assists her. They are of course in cahoots with Tomorrowland’s leader played terribly by Dr. House, Hugh Laurie, who gave the command to capture and/or terminate them. But when the trio of heroes enter Tomorrowland, Laurie’s character doesn’t even know who Casey is and doesn’t want them dead at all but exiled back to Earth. He didn’t even ask for the pin back! Without going into spoilers Laurie didn’t need to do a thing anyway because his plan would’ve worked without him explaining things to Casey in the first place. Like I said, lame.
Overall: I’m sorry but this movie left me cold. I like Brad Bird but everyone thinks he’s this genius storyteller but he really only has 3 movies to his name previously to Tomorrowland and I must say while he has great vision he still has a lot to prove behind the camera. I went into this picture with very little aspirations for it in the first place and was just hoping it would be a fun and entertaining film. At times it was fun and a marvel to see but I don’t have any desire to see it again and probably won’t.
This film is basically a huge environmental and political message parable movie about the impending doom that lays in Earth’s way if we don’t fix our problems with fuel, food and wars. The title could basically be Disney’s An Inconvenient Truth. Sure it had some neat sci-fi action moments but be sure to be ready for the big hokey message from it.
And I have to seriously remind myself to stay clear with any film or TV show with the name Damon Lindelof attached to it.
Score: 5 hours wait for a ride on Space Mountain* (out of 10)
*Space Mountain is not in this film. Bummer I know.