Tomorrowland: A World Beyond Review

The Plot

When Casey (Britt Robertson) comes across a badge that transports her to a whole new world whenever she touches it, she goes in search of the truth behind it all. With the help of inventor Frank Walker (George Clooney) and a young girl named Athena (Raffey Cassidy) she soon discovers Tomorrowland.

The Good

Director Brad Bird (Mission Impossible 4) brings a huge spectacle of a film to the screen in a way that only Brad Bird could. Serving as both an original sci-fi film and an advertisement for Disney World, Tomorrowland is a sight to behold. Opening with a flashback to ‘where it all began’ with young George Clooney’s inventor desperately trying to build a Rocketeer type jetpack and Britt Robertson’s Casey finding the pin that instantly takes her to Tomorrowland – in some completely breathtaking and seamless transitions – Tomorrowland’s first half is a treat to the eyes.

It’s the latter half that brings the important message to the forefront though. Without spoiling too much, Tomorrowland’s moral is incredibly poignant for today’s day and age. Comparisons can be made to Interstellar and even slightly Nightcrawler (at least in terms of its themes…). It’s hard to go into any more detail without spoiling the experience. Sufficed to say, Clooney and Robertson are fantastic, but the real highlight comes from Raffey Cassidy who knocks them out of the limelight most of the time. An incredible feat for a 12 year old actress!

The Bad

While the main cast are spectacular, the main antagonist, Hugh Lauries Nix, feels hugely underused. Considering he is set up early on, he doesn’t reappear for a good while, instead his robot minions – who alas, are human form and not yellow… -  are used as the main threat for a big chunk of the storyline. Laurie’s character is an interesting one. His ideas and plans feel occasionally warranted but they aren’t explored as fully as they could or should have been. What starts out as an interesting villain, soon ends up a forgettable one.

And though the two halves of the film, the former, stunningly breathtaking spectacle, followed by the latter, poignant and thought provoking moral, are both interesting and well done on their own, together they affect the pacing of the 130 minute runtime. The latter half thus feels slightly more dragged out than the opening.

The Ugly Truth

Brad Bird brings his usual swooping visuals to a genuinely thought provoking story which will make you reflect on the state of our world today. It’s just a shame that the two don’t connect together so easily. At times it becomes clunky and unsure of itself, but when it works it’s a triumph.

Review by Johnny Ellis

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