A girl gets involved in a quest to uncover the truth behind the mysterious Tomorrowland.
From the director of The Iron Giant, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol and – drum roll please – The Incredibles comes an sublime big screen adventure for all the family to enjoy.
That was my hope for Tomorrowland, unfortunately it’s not the reality.
Which isn’t to say the film is a complete disaster. The opening half is actually quite good fun, complete with a mix of curiosity and awe which is often missing from these big screen endeavours. Tomorrowland is a mystery and following the clues to find it provides plenty of breadcrumbs for our young hero Casey (Britt Robertson) to follow.
The real problem is that the journey, and what comes afterwards is a bit… dull. Given the involvement of Bird, a fine cast and a thrill-laden script by Damon Lindelof (Lost), I’m not even really sure how that happened.
But it did and the result is a lot of time sitting around waiting for stuff to happen while the promise of a place we’ve never seen is talked about a lot on screen. Tomorrowland is chock full of exposition and that’s a necessary part of most films but it certainly doesn’t do anything to further the plot.
Bird is a fine director but he gets seriously caught up on what Tomorrowland is about. It’s a nice theme, dealing as it does with the power of hope to be a force for change in the world and how endless interest in the mysterious of the world can spur scientific endeavour.
But it’s not enough to hang a film on, leaving the actual usefulness of this amazing place in serious doubt, while random pieces of plot try to keep the stakes high and some mild meanders happen in the plot.
There are moments of fun too – mostly coming from the interactions between young Robertson and the even younger Brit Raffey Cassidy as Athena. Cassidy is great in a role that’s part kid, part Terminator and Robertson’s incredulity helps to keep things grounded.
It’s a good chunk of time before George Clooney even turns up in the film and when he does he pulls out the same repertoire we’ve seen before. He bumbles and is somewhat charming but never makes any impression on the picture in the way he kind of should as the only real connection to the world of tomorrow.
It takes a really long time for little to happen in Tomorrowland, with a good hour passing before we even get to visit the place we’ve been hearing some much about. The finale comes and goes in a fashion best described as perfunctory, leaving us with a last rendition of the constant refrain for hope as the only thing which can fix our broken world. Which seems a bit naïve, don’t you think?