Tomorrowland: A World Beyond tells the story of a teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor that are bound by a shared destiny embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory.
As much as I was excited to see this film, going to the European Premiere and all, I can’t help but to feel a little disappointed. I was hoping to see more of “Tomorrowland” rather then being bound to the earth as we know it for the majority of the film. We know the depressing sight of the world already with what we are constantly bombarded with on television, radio, newspaper, and social media. What, instead, could have been done was the exploration of the alternate world of “Tomorrowland” and giving us more hope for the future that Britt Robertson’s Casey Newton aptly portrayed. When we are, however, in the world beyond, it is visually stunning. It’s just a shame that we hardly spent anytime within this secondary world.
This is another film, like that of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, that’s based on a Disney theme park. And unlike that of the original Pirates of the Caribbean, it lacked the charisma and expert storytelling that made the film so popular. It took a long time for the film to be set up and the main plot not introduced. For the two hour plus running time, the film felt like it was too drawn out for its own good.
I found that the only two characters that were written and performed well were that of Thomas Robinson as a young Frank and Raffey Cassidy as Athena. Their friendship and connection is visible from the beginning as the two actors work well opposite each other. They fit their parts like a glove, making us believe that they’re attracted to one another. Both young Frank and Athena are able to convey the feeling of innocence and discovery, which is something that’s lacking in the other characters. Both Clooney and Laurie are fine actors and have portrayed many other characters well, but maybe it was down to the script and direction that they were given that was what let the actors, and eventually the audience, down in exploring more of their characters.
The message of the film, once fully unveiled, was one of hope and withinTomorrowland, Disney attempted to shine a light in many a state of political unrest and depression in our society. But this hope was supposed to have been lead by Casey instead was boiled down to a few speeches by both Laurie and Clooney’s characters about that of disappointment and failure. Any sign of hope was brought in too late as much of the audience was ready to leave even before the final fade to black.
And what a shame this film was. It could’ve been so much more if it weren’t for the lackluster writing, emotional portrayal by the characters, and lack of strong direction by experienced director Brad Bird (whose previous work such asUp and The Incredibles proved to be well crafted films).
As Laure’s character, Nix, says, “the world is full of greedy people, arguing politicians, and natural disasters. A world from which mankind will never awaken. We drive towards the end as if longing for it.”