"Tomorrowland" Movie Review - A Cautionary Tale
A little late for the theaters or just a little early for the blu-ray?
Decades ago, if you were going to go see a science fiction movie about the future it was a safe bet that the movie would mostly take place in a clean, smooth, bright, vertical society. Then that sort of became cliché and movies like Star Wars and Blade Runner showed everyone that maybe the future was dirty? Maybe we wouldn't all end up living in shopping malls. For the most part I would say that this change contributed to a lot of great sci-fi, but is there anything about that old clean optimistic future that we are missing out on?
Tomorrowland is clearly out to promote the clean, safe, optimistic, and starry-eyed utopian future promised to us by it's eponymous section of Disneyland. While achieving this goal, Tomorrowland is simultaneously very critical of movies and books that heavily promote the dystopian future that has become frighteningly standard in science fiction these days.
An opening scene being narrated by Frank (Clooney) is interrupted by a teenage girl named Casey, (Brit Robertson) which pretty much mirrors how the movie will
unfold since her story seems to take over for a good portion of the film. Frank and Casey are both forward thinking, optimistic dreamers who seem to be confronted with forms of negativity everywhere they go. They are given a fleeting glimpse of the futuristic utopia of Tomorrowland. The unlikely duo is joined by an odd young girl named Athena. In his attempt to help get Casey to Tomorrowland, Frank must confront many of the things that have left him so jaded.
Hugh Laurie was really great in this movie. The action scenes are really not that great. There is a lot to love about Tomorrowland, but in the end it is a cautionary tale that could have been told very effectively in about 40 to 50 minutes. That being said, it does have a strong message that is straight forward enough for people of all ages to think about.
When I saw the teaser trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean I thought that the Mouse had finally lost his mind. Then I saw a film that perfectly captured the thrilling adventure of everything that is Pirates of the Caribbean. Later that year they tried it again with the Haunted Mansion adaptation and that terrible movie failed to be funny or scary. Tomorrowland is a lot better than Haunted Mansion. As I said before, it does promote the idea of Tomorrowland, particularly in the few scenes that really worked. Sadly, this movie fails to achieve that cross between wonder, excitement, and awe that is Tomorrowland.