“You wanted to see Tomorrowland– here it comes”. Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland follows the story of Casey Newton (Britt Robertson), an optimistic, young science enthusiast who finds a magical pin that presumably transports her to the future. Eventually, she crosses paths with Frank Walker (George Clooney), a grouchy inventor, and they embark in a treacherous mission to Tomorrowland, an enigmatic place somewhere in the future, to uncover its secrets and save humanity.
The movie stars Britt Robertson and George Clooney as lead characters as well as 13-year-old Raffey Cassidy, playing Athena (a robot, who we come to discover that is in fact responsible for bringing Casey and Frank together). Hugh Laurie also makes an appearance as the Tomorrowland governor, and so does child actor Thomas Robinson, portraying young Frank. Although something seems to be lacking in Robertson’s acting, the casting appears to be quite successful; the contrast between Casey’s optimism and Frank’s cynicism creates a plausible and interesting chemistry between the characters.
The film, being sci-fi, features a number of scenes filled with quite stunning special effects. Among these, we have the film bringing to life the futuristic Jetsons-like utopia that we have all, at some point in our lives, dreamed of.
The downfall of this movie, however, is its extravagant and confusing plot. One could blame it on the genre, anything can happen in a sci-fi film, but it is nonetheless needlessly overcomplicated. We get an uneven mix of action, futuristic robots and machines, flashbacks and flashforwards (or is the future actually the present?). And, wait, here’s the best part: the Eiffel Tower is a rocket ship. It’s likely that not even Clooney knows what is going on at this point.
The message gets across quite clearly though: we all have to work for a better future, the future is in our hands, we are the future. Optimism triumphs over pessimism. “There are two wolves who are always fighting. One is darkness and despair. The other is light and hope. The question is: which wolf wins? The one you feed.” The film ends on a hopeful and inspirational note, which is refreshing; not a lot films have been doing so lately.
So, if you were hoping for a powerfully constructed, flawless storyline, you might want to skip this film. However, the movie is great in all its other aspects, whether that is visual effects or acting. And if you are one of those people eager to find Easter eggs in movies, you will not be disappointed! Keep an eye out for all the treats that Brad Bird has hidden in it, including all your favourite Disney and Star Wars characters, some familiar music and, of course, the famous and always present A113.
(Don’t know what A113 means? Check out this post to find out!)