What would happen if you could go to the future? What about actually changing the future? Well, Tomorrowland, a Disney production by Brad Bird takes this unoriginal concept and turns it into a cross between a commercial for Disney theme parks and a cautionary tale about all of the bad things happening in the world today.
Young Frank (Thomas Robertson) is a cute boy genius with all of the optimism possible for the future. His optimism and curiosity brings him to the attention of Athena (Raffey Cassidy). Athena is a young girl with an odd way about her. She leads Frank to an opportunity to go to the future.
This Tomorrowland of the future is where the best and brightest of Earth have built an incredible Utopia. Everyone is happy, the environment is clean and transportation is jet packs, rockets or hovering trains. But there is a problem. Frank builds something that changes the future, and not for the good.
Forty years later Casey (Britt Robertson) is a smart and curious young woman who is getting frustrated with how negative things are. It seems that every high school class she has teaches nothing but how bad everything is. “It get it that things are bad, but what are we doing to fix it.”
But somehow she is given a label pin that allows her a glimpse of Tomorrowland. And this galvanizes her into action. She ends up finding the grown up Frank (George Clooney). She want Frank to take her to Tomorrowland. Unfortunately, someone has sent a lot of smiling and/or menacing robots after them to prevent that from happening.
So, this was an enjoyable movie. The graphic effects are spectacular and I suspect that many will especially enjoy it on IMAX and 3D. It does have that kind of Disney, thrill ride feel to it in places. The characters are also enjoyable. George Clooney is his usually enjoyable mix of charm, grumpy and humor. The young actress, Raffey Cassidy who plays Athena is particularly engaging. She has the acting ability of a much more seasoned actor. Her scenes with Clooney are the best in the film.
So, I do recommend this film. Kids will particularly enjoy it because, frankly, it panders to them. And I don’t mean this because it’s a “kids film”. I say this because, at its heart this film tells kids that most adults have given up hope for the world and that it is up to young people to change things for the better by being curious and positive.
I am not saying this is not essentially true. Heck, this is usual moral of every story of this type ever written. But, in Tomorrowland the heavy dusting of Disney fairy dust does, at the end become a little cloying.