Release Date: May 22, 2015
Running Time: 130 minutes
Tomorrowland is an all-ages Disney ride with a few well-placed thrills and spills here and there but not enough to justify the wait in line. Directed by The Incredibles’ Brad Bird from a lacking script co-written by Lost’s Damon Lindelof, Tomorrowland takes us to a world of unknown time and location that serves as the home to the brightest minds in the Universe. Unfortunately, Bird and Lindelof fail to make an inspired film in their bid to inspire a generation of children to achieve greatness in their lives. The ideas Bird and Lindelof want to push are noble but are never effectively communicated or fully realized. Tomorrowland appears to a cool place where cool people invent cool things. But for what purpose? Not to help humanity, or so it seems. In fact, the only invention that matters to be found in Tomorrowland is one that threatens to destroy Earth. It’s down to George Clooney’s grumpy inventor and Tomorrowland’s exile, Britt Robertson’s teen genius and eternal optimistic, and Raffey Cassidy “more human than human” robot to save the day. Tomorrowland’s origins lie in Walt Disney’s view of a harmonious future, which inform the attractions that can be found in the Disney themed lands of the same name. You can’t blame Bird for being intrigued by Disney’s vision of a future utopian society that is built upon imagination, determination, and cooperation. Who wouldn’t want to live in a world that places significant value on individualism as part of the pursuit of the common good? Early on, Bird gives a few brief but tantalizing glimpses of Tomorrowland that leave us wondering what else we will find there. The goal we share with Robertson is to reach Tomorrowland and soak in all it offers. The journey to Tomorrowland is filled with some entertaining moments—including a shootout in a memorabilia store, a showdown in Clooney’s booby-trapped house, and a chase around the Eiffel Tower—but none that rivals Tom Cruise scaling the world’s tallest building in Bird’s Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol. The arrival at Tomorrowland and the subsequent fight to save humanity prove to be as disappointing and frustrating as discovering that your favorite Disney ride is closed on the day you visit. Bird’s main problem is that he seems to be so in awe of the idea of Tomorrowland that he fails to construct a world that’s as wondrous and unique. Instead, Tomorrowland is just the Emerald City with jet packs. It all leaves you speculating how much better would Tomorrowland had been had Bird chosen animation as the medium to realize his vision. Of course, the point of Tomorrowland is to explore the imperfections of a seemingly perfect society. A utopia can and will never exist, but Bird’s goal is to push kids to see the value in contributing to society to make it the best it can be. To Bird, Tomorrowland is a state of a mind that he wants every child to attain. That’s a righteous position for Bird to take. For the rest of us, though, Tomorrowland is a place that fails to deliver on all its promises.
Aired: May 21, 2015
Web site: http://movies.disney.com/tomorrowland/