Welcome to the world of tomorrow - today!
Tomorrowland is an original Disney science-fiction film starring George Clooney, Britt Robertson and Hugh Laurie. Directed by Pixar alumni Brad Bird, it's a scatterbrained screenplay from Lost's Damon Lindelof that plagues this otherwise decent family film.
What is Tomorrowland about? That's the question on everyone's lips. Even after an extensive ad campaign, Disney have been able to keep key details about this film a secret, something that intrigued me beforehand. However, after watching the film, I'm still at a loss for what the answer to that question is.
You see, the plot revolves around one giant mystery - what's the deal with this Tomorrowland place? What's it for, why is it so shiny and so on. And what does it have to do with magical pins and Casey (Britt Robertson), a rebellious teen from Florida? The problem is, Tomorrowland doesn't reveal the answers to these questions until very late in the day, and when they do spill the beans, they're not as exciting, fresh or original as you'd been hoping.
Anyway, I won't go into too much detail about the plot - I'll leave it to you to form your own conclusions. All I'll say is that, like other properties penned by Damon Lindelof such as Lost and Prometheus, it's a very front-loaded narrative that tapers off towards the end and poses more questions that it answers.
That's not to say it's a complete mess - Brad Bird's vision of a glimmering futuristic city looks great, and the unbroken sequence where Casey 'visits' Tomorrowland for the first time is visually impressive. That being said, Bird does lean a little heavily on green screen here, and it would've been cool to see a mixture of VFX and practical effects to fit with the Gerry Anderson 1950's vibe.
Britt Robertson takes a troublesome script and works her character into a positive. I haven't seen her in anything before, and this first impression was a great start. She's like a wackier, sassier long-lost cousin of Jennifer Lawrence (if that's possible), and I'm really keen to visit some of her earlier work.
On the other hand, I felt that George Clooney was completely miscast as Frank Walker, a bitter old curmudgeon who journeys to Tomorrowland with Casey. Almost none of that trademark Clooney swagger comes across and if anything, he suited Hugh Laurie's smarmy role as Nix better.
Tomorrowland contains its fair share of child actors, whether it's Raffey Cassidy as Athena, Pierce Gagnon as Nate or Thomas Robinson as Young Frank. Cassidy plays a fairly important role, and it's a shame that her performance feels so first-grade nativity. Don't hate me for hatin' on child actors, but it really struck me how awkward some of their scenes felt.
Whilst it pains me to admit it, Tomorrowland is not a good movie. It has good intentions of heralding a bright future full of positive social activism, but the execution is sub-par at best. Unfortunately for Disney, the only future this movie has is that of a crusty bargain bin at JB Hi-Fi.
The Verdict: 5/10
Yet another original sci-fi property than feels undercooked, Tomorrowland does have one or two redeeming factors - Robertson is bubbly and sassy and you can't fault Bird's shining vision. The only problem is, these all get muddled up along with some pretty unforgivable downsides that make will ensure Tomorrowland soon slips into obscurity.