Tomorrowland is a story about the future – all its ugly truths as well as its beautiful potential.
Ever since I watched the very first trailer of Tomorrowland, my curiosity has peaked! I’ve been looking forward to this movie for a while, and while it’s not the perfect movie, it still warrants attention. Here are 4 huge reasons to see this wonderful family, sci-fi, adventure!
1 Breathtaking Visual Spectacle
If for nothing else, you should see this movie for the Tomorrowland itself! I remember the scene when glimpses of Tomorrowland is seen through the clouds as Frank was frantically stumbling through the air. I was grinning like an idiot in my seat! Even more so when it finally came into full view and you see this fully realized techno-future world that’s just so majestic! The fusion of technological pizazz, architectural inventiveness and unbound imagination will undeniably leave you breathless!
Not only was the city artistically realized, the movie’s cinematography was creatively thought-out as well. It seemed as though Director Brad Bird shot the movie with the intention of making it look and feel like a theme park ride! It’s almost poetic, that the movie (loosely) based on a theme park would feel like a theme park ride. Some shots are filled with so much kinetic energy that I wouldn’t be surprised if it actually became a ride at Disneyland!
2 Social Relevance And That Trademark Disney Lesson
For a movie that’s targeted to a young audience, it sure is loaded with some pretty powerful themes. Themes that I’m sure have consequences to any and all people. The primary idea the movie tackles is our world’s future, our “Tomorrowland”, as it were, and its duality: how it can be a source of both despair or of promise; that you can anticipate its end, or celebrate its possibilities.
From there it branches out to smaller themes like the effect of perception on fate, or seizing your destiny, or hoping and dreaming and creating. It even touches on love, self-preservation, and on our apocalypse-embracing culture. These themes kept the out-of-this-world movie grounded and it’s hard not to relate to at least one of them.
The themes worked well in the context of the story. In the wrong hands, it could have sounded too preachy and forced. But fortunately Brad Bird and Damon Linderlof carefully handled the subject matter and seamlessly weaved them into the lore leaving you with a story that not only dazzles, but also inspires.
So while the tone of the movie may not be chiefly targeted towards adults, it still speaks to the lot who have grown disillusioned of the world (myself included). It’s a nice reminder of the power of dreaming, of getting up and moving, of creating a better world for ourselves, our children, our children’s children.
3 Impressive Action And Family Adventure Elements
Or should I say, SURPRISINGLY impressive action? The last thing I expected from this movie was a hand-to-hand action scene with the choreography and intensity that could rival even the likes of Winter Soldier’s. And it was delivered by a 13 year old girl, no less! Raffey Cassidy (Athena) has the form and attitude of a seasoned action star (like Chloe Moretz when she played Hit-Girl) and it’s crazy (and absolutely amazing) how this kid is so proficient in ass-kickery.
And when Athena isn’t handing out cans and cans of whoop ass, you’re treated to a zany sci-fi romp featuring unapologetically silly laser blasters, and creepy smiling androids, and rocket ships and other dimensions – things I’m sure kids will totally enjoy.
4 George Clooney
It’s George Clooney. C’mon. Who DOESN’T like that guy? Although there wasn’t particularly notable about his performance in Tomorrowland, but still, George Clooney! Am I right?
I did appreciate though that his scenes with the VERY young Athena were underscored so it never entered creeper territory. A middle aged man and a 13 year old girl having a romantic connection could have easily been deemed inappropriate but leave it to George Clooney to be so precise in his acting that it never feels weird and you completely buy into it.
But like I said, it’s not completely flawless. Not everyone will enjoy this movie for sure. Some may be put off by its messianic inclinations, others by its relatively simple and predictable plot. But to me it was how the movie was concluded. (SPOILERS!) The plot doesn’t progress much during the first two thirds of the movie and everything that happens during that time was already inferred in the many trailers that were released. We don’t find out what happened to Tomorrowland, why they’re being chased by killer robots, why Casey is so special, why Frank isn’t IN Tomorrowland anymore – basically, for a long time, we don’t know the crux of the movie’s conflict. It’s often alluded to, but nothing concrete is revealed until the end when Nix (Hugh Laurie) does his grand villain speech to answer all the questions we’ve been keeping at the back of our minds. But it felt like a last minute info dump as the movie ends shortly after. The finale felt unnatural and rushed.
Also, Hugh Laurie’s heel turn was underwhelming and undeserved. He doesn’t even appear in the movie all that much! I wish they had made better use of the actor.
Ending notwithstanding, it’s still worth watching, given its huge merits. They did a great job crafting this fresh, exciting, visually dynamic mythology around a theme park that’s been around for over 5 decades! Some could even argue that this is the longest, most elaborate Disneyland commercial, and maybe it is, but that doesn’t make it any less meaningful. If inspiring people makes the world a better place, then Tomorrowland may have, in its own little way, done just that. Hopefully this film moves people in a positive / progressive direction.
Tomorrowland is a kid’s/teen movie but with a strong, responsible message in its core, that if viewed with an open, optimistic, mind and a caring spirit, could teach ALL OF US a thing or two about our future and the role we play in it. Ultimately, we’re reminded that our future is in our hands, it will be what we make of it, and it’s up to us to make sure it prospers. We have so much untapped potential and there will always be limitless possibilities, all we have to do is hope, dream, and create.
*Photos courtesy of Tomorrowland”s official Facebook page.