Film Review: Tomorrowland

In association with the Grosvenor

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For a film that preaches creativity and imagination, Tomorrowland is severely lacking in either. Instead of witnessing a Disney classic in the making, the audience is forced to sit through a bloated kid’s film with an over-reliance on CGI and chock full of unbearably schmaltzy dialogue in this underwhelming science fiction adventure. It’s an awful shame coming from director Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille); especially considering that he chose to direct Tomorrowland over the upcoming Star Wars film.

After a long and drawn-out start, we are introduced to the supposed main character, the angst ridden tech-savvy teen Casey Newton (Britt Robertson), as she searches for a utopian alternate dimension after finding a mysterious pin. On her journey, Casey is paired up with the disgruntled old inventor Frank Walker (George Clooney) and a strange little girl known as Athena. Although it seems like an interesting set up, the story hangs onto a clichéd prophecy plot-line with our heroes simply jumping from one goofy action scene to the next, and finishes with a terrible (and confusing) anti-climax. Somehow Damon Lindelof’s attempt at writing a kid’s film manages to explain the concept of alternate dimensions easily enough, but fails to explain the simplest of plot points while forcing an awkward and uninteresting love story.

Clooney and Robertson, sold as the true stars in early trailers, are shoved aside in favour of child actors obviously chosen for cuteness rather than actual talent, and even when the adults are on screen together they lack that certain rapport worth watching. Clooney’s Frank Walker is without a doubt the most interesting of the bunch – a character with a sad history and a refreshingly cynical outlook on life compared to his co-stars – but he’s unfortunately not given the attention he deserves and his development feels more of an after-thought.

I suppose I may have been a bit harsh, as it does deliver some great visuals and fun ideas, but given that Tomorrowland was one of the most anticipated films of the year, with a monstrous budget and a proven director attached, I expected so much more. Disney have shown time and time again that a children’s film doesn’t have to be a bad film in the eyes of adults: just look at Frozen, Monsters Inc., or Into the Woods.  As for Tomorrowland‘s overall theme of creativity and imagination, The Lego Movie did a far superior job of conveying that message in a creative and imaginative way.

[Andrew McIntyre]

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