Plot: Whenever Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) touches a lapel pin with the letter T on it, she finds herself transported to Tomorrowland, a city filled with huge robots and sleek buildings. The gifted young woman recruits the help of scientist Frank Walker (George Clooney), a previous visitor to Tomorrowland, who years ago made a startling discovery about the future. Together, the two adventurers travel to the metropolis to uncover its mysterious secrets.
Note: Minor spoilers from this point on.
Nope, Tomorrowland isn’t as great as they claim.
It would be great, if that ‘brand new dimension’ really exists on our boring Planet Earth, or if people like Jules Verne and Gustave Eiffel actually are founders of a brand new world of peace and beauty. I’m talking about the movie, which is nothing close to being as ideal as the world it describes. Tomorrowland is a quite a mess, not because of the actors carrying it, but because of the plot. Well, that statement wasn’t trying to slam it, but this film just kept trying to show that there is something more without really hitting that point. The most ironic thing about this film would be the fact that I come out hardly having much of a realization about the brand new world, and apart from a few glimpses, that is about all we get to spend in that world. Let’s just say that whatever you saw in the trailer is about everything there is in the movie. If the trailer left you thinking there is something more, trust me, there isn’t much more that’s there.
Let’s just say that everything went downhill further as soon as we reached the climax. At least the story was clear beforehand, but I found it hard to keep up with everything that was being thrown at us. Really, our apocalyptic future is our own self-fulfilling prophecy? Are you saying that massive tornadoes and floods, in no way related to anything mankind is doing, will happen within twenty days, and somehow nobody realizes? There must be some sign right? I’m sorry, there isn’t, as this film boldly proclaims. That’s not to say I couldn’t really figure out what the relationship between Frank and Nix is. How did their friendship develop? What happened between them in the years he has aged? And of course there are even more questions that I can’t get- why did those agents want to kill Casey for possessing the pin? And what happened to those ‘agents’ or ‘AI’s as soon as Frank, Casey and Athena entered Tomorrowland? It’s never good when a film raises too many questions, and sadly to say, this film does just that. It raised even more questions, and less answers. I found this film far too convulated for its own good. It’s common for a film to suffer due to its common, simple and predictable storyline, but it definitely isn’t good for a film to try to fit too much into a ‘short’ film.
The build-up was far too long, and that’s mostly because we are following Casey as she tries to get answers, but unfortunately doesn’t. Of course, the one bright spot would be its brilliant action sequences. Brad Bird shows that he can still pull them off, coming off Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, and it is in this aspect which I think the film truly shines (they are original, and unlike many I have seen). Those sequences are fun, and are indeed a relief to the many slow scenes. The problem? They are far too scattered, and it isn’t long before we are desperately looking for another one. In other words, the action scenes are in short supply.
The acting was generally well done, but surprisingly the best performance wasn’t put in by George Clooney (he was just okay), but instead Brit Robertson and Raffey Cassidy. They helped lift an otherwise disappointing film. Robertson does what her character demands of her really well, a girl who stands out due to her persistence and her ‘reluctant to give up’ attitude. Meanwhile, Raffey Cassidy puts in way more to her character- she does a robot real well, while still putting in lots of emotions, making her one of the most beloved characters in the film. Sadly to say, Hugh Laurie, playing David Nix, didn’t have much to showcase here, not due to his terrible acting (he was okay), but instead his undercooked character which we still could not understand. If he is considered a villain, he would be one which isn’t in any way frightening, though.
The visuals were nothing short of breathtaking, but the most disappointing thing is that we aren’t really brought into Tomorrowland to explore it. Unlike what I perceived beforehand- an adventure inside Tomorrowland (when I heard George Clooney’s character mention ‘if you want to see Tomorrowland, here it comes” right at the end of one of the trailers), it was instead unexplored. I won’t know how that ‘perfect world’ differ from our very own planet earth. I definitely can’t figure out whether I want to be there, even if it is a world where trains can fly, jetpacks exist, and everything just looks so stunning. Which pretty much sums up the problem about this movie- it doesn’t serve its purpose of tempting you to want to live in Tomorrowland- instead, we don’t get more than what we saw in the trailer. Damn it.
Summary: Ambitious yet confusing, director Brad Bird definitely puts it his all, putting into the mix several highly appealing and interesting action sequences, but ultimately falls short, due to its convulated plot, its slow progression, and giving less then promised. Despite good performance by stars, and impressive visuals, the film hardly spends time in Tomorrowland, making us wonder- do we really want to spend time in the theaters to watch a film about a place which we will never visit?
Plot/Character Development: 11/30
VFX/Costume Design/Production Design: 4.5/5
Total: 38/70 (54%)