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TOMORROWLAND (review)

Review by Caitlyn Thompson
Produced by Brad Bird, Damon Lindelof, Jeffrey Chernov
Screenplay by Damon Lindelof, Brad Bird
Story by Damon Lindelof, Brad Bird, Jeff Jensen
Directed by Brad Bird
Starring George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, 
Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy, Tim McGraw,
Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key, Judy Greer

Tomorrowland is an odd compilation of a weak feel-good action-adventure fairy-tale with a whimsical post-apocalyptic quality told in a visually pleasing way.

Odd, yes?

The premise: young brilliant minds are recruited to an amazing world where positivity reigns and fuels innovation.

Problem is, we don’t see the utopia for more than five minutes…how are we supposed to be allured?

While I enjoyed the high-energy production, once I left the theater I couldn’t remember what the film was about.

Did anything really happen?

I understand the message loud and clear: humanity is pessimistic and destroying itself from the inside so be positive, be creative, or the world might end.

A good message for a film, but poorly executed.

But the film only gave a glimpse of the Tomorrowland world where everything is wonderful.

Why not show more? The film is a giant chase scene of trying to get back there but that’s it unfortunately.

Folks also mention that Tomorrowland is the future. Is it though?

Looks like an alternate universe type of place. Clarification would have been nice.
 
Frank (George Clooney), a former bright-eyed brilliant young boy who never gave up on the possibility of making the world a better place, is introduced as a cantankerous old man who’s been shut out of Tomorrowland long ago.

Casey (Brittany Robertson) is an optimistic mischief-maker who wants nothing more than to “fix” the world. Her mission of finding Tomorrowland begins with a trip to Frank’s house where hijinks ensue.

There are robots there are rocket ships there are flying bathtubs. Shot with an air of urgency and humor, it’s all really fun to watch. But there is no real story. There is an issue – the world is falling apart and humanity is negative and compliant – however, the characters don’t seem to have history or motives.

What did Frank do in Tomorrowland? How was the world established?

Why is Casey so happy when she clearly lost her mother and her father (Tim McGraw) works a hapless job? She wears her father’s hat like a badge of honor, but why? She runs amok and lies to him, disregarding his wishes and concerns. So, what is their relationship really like? Casey even seems rather angry, minus her snarky one-liners…

Her brother, however, played briefly by Pierce Gagnon (Looper) is adorable. If nothing else, save the world for his cute little face.

What really makes Tomorrowland disappointing for me is that we have seen writer/director Brad Bird succeed so well with this storyline: jaded old man positively influenced by a naïve youngster who’s over-filled with optimism (think of Up). He really fell short with this movie.

A shame, because it was fun. But that’s all. Fluff, nothing beneath the surface.

I’m not even quite sure who the target audience is. There’s a bit too much startling violence for young children, and not enough story to satisfy older crowds.

Feels like this movie is hanging on, waiting for something, but there isn’t anything to grab.

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