Saturday, May 23, 2015


Plot: Frank (George Clooney) and Casey (Britt Robertson) find magic coins, and get one-time visit to a futuristic utopia called Tomorrowland. When they snap back to reality, they are greeted by a young girl Athena (Raffery Cassidy), who has tries to recruit them. Soon Casey finds Frank, and they hook up with Athena to journey to Tomorrowland, which is no longer a utopia. 

In Tomorrowland, they meet Govenor Nix (Hugh Laurie) who explains their predicament. By eliminating negative expectations, our heroes save the world. [imdb]    [photos]

Review: The first three fourths of this movie are super: more fun than any movie since Into the Woods. I loved the optimism, and I loved the banter between the negative Frank and the effervescently optimistic Casey. Maybe I am a sucker for optimistic movies, but this does a nice job of being positive while not be too juvenile.  

The acting was great throughout. I liked the alienness of Athena from the young Raffery Cassidy who shows a not quite human girl. George Clooney has some great moments too. He delivers some great pessimistic lines to keep the mood from getting too cheesy.

Last week I saw Mad Max: Fury Road with its implicitly catastrophic view of the future. Tomorrowland has a deliberately positive and optimistic view -- rather like the early Star Trek shows & movies. Both movies were fun, Mad Max being cool and desperate; and Tomorrowland being hopeful and determined. 

What I didn't like was the science fiction mumbo-jumbo in the end to set up the (NOT A SPOILER) happy ending. The fast-moving, wonder-based story took a left-turn into lengthy exposition to set up a vague, last-gasp project and a big PG-rated fight. The big fight being the only part of Tomorrowland that felt like a kid's movie.

Cast: George Clooney is as good as ever - he plays a depressed guy pretty well;  Britt Robertson from Under the Dome, who does a great job; 13 year old Raffey Cassidy who carries the movie -- if her role had gone bad -- it would be a whole different film. 

Directed by: Brad Bird, who also has a writing credit. He was involved in many Disney movies including The Incredibles. 

The Music: Boring orchestrial music -- yawn.

The Visuals: A few great special effects. None better than flying in the jetpack. 

Rating: 3.5 stars: loved it -- but not the ending. It has an innovative story, great dialog, a good message, but lapses into after-school-special for the ending. 

More: In our cynical age, optimism is in short supply. 

[SPOILER] Even More: I loved the message about how the people love dystopian stories, and this causes them to accept failure. Tomorrowland story has an optimistic theme -- in contrast to Mad Max, Hunger Games, and Divergent. It recalls the positive attitude of post-WWII Americans when people trusted science, business, and government, at least far more than today. 
Post a Comment