Set across several different times and spaces, Tomorrowland tells the story of a childlike android, a child inventor and a determined, scientific teenager as they attempt to save planet earth via another world, time and place. What begins as a family adventure film soon wilts into a poorly executed environmental flick with an admittedly sincere message at its heart, delivered far too clumsily. Tomorrowland revealed all of its best qualities in its trailer – proving to be a very different movie than the one we were lead to believe it to be. In its greatest moments, Tomorrowland uses dazzling special effects and inventive story traits to show the curious teen protagonist entering a second dimension. This is merely a minor point in the story which soon wanders off down a much less interesting path. Much more needed to be made on what turns out to be merely a commercial for a future world. The problems lie with narrative and pacing more than anything else. The final half an hour feels like a rushed and over-complicated effort to build necessary tension and reach its conclusion. Although I agree wholeheartedly with the film’s environmental message, I didn’t appreciate being battered over the head with it. A message about our species desperate need to change in order to preserve our planet is far too over-explained for adults and won’t be of much concern to the film’s younger audiences.Casting is a mixed bag. George Clooney and Britt Robertson are the highlights, combining wit and energy. They hold much more of our interest than Hugh Laurie’s cringe-worthy antagonist or the grating child-android.
I can’t take responsibility for the following sentence, but it is to perfect to try to improve upon: Tomorrowland is like a feature length Doctor Who episode. My partner uttered these words as we came out of the screening. It’s a perfect observation for several reasons. Firstly, harmlessness – Tomorrowland is fine, nothing offensive or particularly life-changing about it. It’s a forget-able futuristic adventure which will kill a few rainy hours. Secondly, over-excitement. Like the previously mentioned TV series, Tomorrowland is brimming with ideas; some good, some bad, some recycled and some just plain lazy – all in all, too many. Finally, it’s confused. I grew tired with Tomorrowland‘s indecisive nature quite early on. Opening like a promising 1990s Tim Burton movie before descending into trivial nonsense. Just like Doctor Who, Tomorrowland is eager to please, often frivolous but somewhat endearing. I don’t mean to judge or criticise Doctor Who – a show that performs far better on television than Tomorrowland did on the big screen; it’s just a very apt comparison. Director Brad Bird is always ambitious and inventive; his greatest feat being the ever-underrated The Iron Giant – one of contemporary cinemas most beautiful, family-friendly science fiction movies. Tomorrowland blatantly has the same creative ambition that make his work so charming. Unfortunately, it isn’t strong enough to maintain its charisma from start to finish.
Thanks for reading and let’s all keep supporting our beloved film industry.