Film Review by Clayton Barnett
Bound by a shared destiny, a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor jaded by disillusionment embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory as "Tomorrowland."
Oscar-winner Brad Bird continues his live-action directing jaunt with Tomorrowland, Disney’s latest theme-park ride to get the big-screen treatment.
And what a ride it is. Bird, the man behind one of my favourite movies of all time, The Incredibles, and his only other live-action film, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, knows slick action and a good story. His knack for cinematic eye-candy continues here: Tomorrowland itself is a marvel to behold with all sorts of futuristic gizmos to gawk at, there are the sheer visual thrill whenever the pin is touched, and the escape sequence at the house is worth admission alone. The close calls and Home Alone-style booby traps of that scene kept myself and my 15-year-old cousin thoroughly entertained.
Plus he knows his fans love in-jokes and the ‘Blast from the Past’ antique toy story is littered with references to the Disney / Pixar / Star Wars stable, including Brad’s directorial debut The Iron Giant. Speaking of nostalgia, there are scenes reminiscent of The Rocketeer which I just loved as a kid.
The story itself is engrossing to begin with, but halfway through it loses momentum and even got a bit confusing, and a bit dark, for my cousin (there’s a lot of science fiction gobbledy-gook stuff). Being Disney the ending gets a bit preachy and schmaltzy too. But on the car ride home my cousin said she loved the lead girl and we did talk about how for once there was a smart female lead that wasn’t chasing boys. Good on you Disney for providing great role models!
This young lead is played with such undaunting spirit and enthusiasm by Britt Robertson (probably most recognisable from TV series Under the Dome) she almost upstages George Clooney, who is in top curmudgeonly old-man form. Co-star Raffey Cassidy, who plays Athena, rounds out the trio and without providing any spoilers is one of the highlights.
Brad Bird flies high with the visual flair in Tomorrowland, but the story just drags it down in the second half. Though young and old will be left smiling with Mr Clooney in top form, and optimistic newcomer Britt Robertson providing a great role model.
Releases: 28th May 2015
Rating: PG – Contains violence and coarse language
Duration: 130 minutes
Starring: George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie
Director: Brad Bird (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, The Iron Giant)
Brad Bird was sought out as the first choice for the director's job of Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015). Bird respectfully declined the offer in order to do this film. Bird stated when you get the rare chance to do an original film like this, you take the opportunity. Bird went on to say, he is a huge Star Wars fan though and he looks forward (as a fan) to seeing the film like everyone else.
In Europe, Disney had to change the name from Tomorrowland to Disney Project T because the name is a registrated brand of the festival Tomorrowland. Same was, when the festival wanted to have a show in the U.S., they had to change the name to Tomorrowworld.
Based on the themed land "Tomorrowland" at Disney theme parks.
Tomorrowland, as first conceived by Walt Disney back in the 50's and 60's, was to showcase what the future would hold for the world. It was and still is Disney's top draws in the theme parks.
This is the third collaboration between Judy Greer and George Clooney.
In the second trailer for the movie, you can see Space Mountain in the background at exactly 1:16 into it. It is also visible on the movie's promotional poster in the outer left of the town in the background.