22 May 2015

Tomorrowland: A World Beyond


The film industry is currently going through a spout of regurgitating franchises based on books or plots that are part of a trilogy; usually drawn out to an unbearable degree. 

Interestingly, Disney's latest feature, which unashamedly flags environmental issues, comes in the form of an original narrative. An inspiring tale emerges bringing together both fresh and inventive ideas from the twisted mind of writer Damon Lindelof and the trademark heartfelt magic that the studio does so well.
Tomorrowland teleports us directly into an alternative universe based on the theme park attraction of the same name. Driven to invent a better habitat for humanity, the world's most ingenious inventors and top creative minds joined forces and created a place beyond your wildest dreams. A place free from war, religion and destruction, a place that actually has a future. A sci-fi, fantasy reality, concealed neatly in a badge pin that triggers the door to this Utopian realm. 

We are introduced to inquisitive boy genius Frank Miller who gets recruited by robot agent Athena and allowed access to the wonders of this other world. Latest recruit, rebellious tom-boy Casey is constantly challenging the way the world works. Worried sick that her NASA space engineer of a father will be put out of a job,  this girl will do anything including breaking into a government base in order to stop the inevitable from happening. Once she finds herself in a world where all her problems would cease to exist, it is her strong sense of determination that drives the latter part of the film forward. 

A cranky Clooney lends sarcasm and rationalism against the energetic and at times infantile newcomers Brit Robertson (Casey) and Raffey Cassidy (Athena).  Explosive CGI, vibrant wardrobes and spectacular landscapes come together creating an on screen sensory extravaganza. What really makes this film tick is it's strong inner message. Ultimately, this was made with children in mind, but one simply can't ignore the blatant dig at humanity for destroying our precious planet in a similar fashion to that of previous 2008 animation WALL-E. The inescapable dystopian destiny the human race has planned for itself is highlighted, albeit Casey has one thing that can save it all - hope. In fact, hope is the glue of Tomorrowland, except not much else is explained. After all this is the writer who brought us Lost, yet overloading us with various sub-plots and information, to then force out a resolution in a lightening speed rant by Casey seemed a rather easy way out. 

Above all, Tomorrowland is a visually stunning, crowd pleaser that is sure to be a success with it's target audience. Minus the lack of explanation and a few niggles when it came to the script, Bird and Lindelof, just like the creators of this universe make an unstoppable team when it comes to capturing your imagination. An inspiring and generally bewildering experience, not to mention the fun that is to be had watching a royal punch up in a collectors store and a perfectly timed one-liner from Brit baddie Nix played by no other than the plum Hugh Laurie. 

Now, who want's a jetpack?!

Tomorrowland is released in cinemas today, Friday 22nd May. 

Directed by Brad Bird 
130mins, 12A (2015)

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