Coming from director Brad Bird (The Incredibles and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol), I was expecting something with a little more bite …
While Bird’s film was ever the more ambitious, still, it lacked the storytelling and actual presence of Tomorrowland. But the optimism throughout the entire film makes you want to root for it even when the damn thing stumbles. After several critically acclaimed films from Bird’s past, it was heartbreaking to see Tomorrowland not compare. Rightfully so, Bird kept the plot under wraps from wondering hands until the premiere.
So here we go: George Clooney plays Frank Walker, a shabby and grumpy inventor who has isolated himself off from the world on his New York farm. When we first meet Frank played as a kid (Thomas Robinson), he’s bursting with ideas and is a bright, happy champ trying to show off his primitive jet pack at the 1964 World’s Fair. Scientist David Nix (Hugh Laurie) doesn’t buy Frank’s childish ideas and shuts him down. Frank is searching for a symbol and that very symbol comes through utopia know as Tomorrowland.
Frank meets a girl, Athena (the gifted Raffey Cassidy), who granted him with a magic pin that zapped him into Tomorrowland. Fast-forward to grumpy Clooney, where he meets Casey (Britt Robertson) who has also been gifted with the very last pin from Athena, but she doesn’t know. From there, Bird’s film tries to fly into the PG family enjoyment but never fully takes off. The audience’s are shown corruption, doomsday and a hint of propaganda. Naïve? Maybe, but that’s what Bird and co-scriptwriter Damon Lindelof (Lost) were aiming for. Tomorrowland makes the audience think about its message even if it has been recycled before.
Tomorrowland is rated PG (Parental Guidance). For sequences of sci-fi action violence and peril, thematic elements, and language.