Brad Bird’s TOMORROWLAND
Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
This movie isn’t nearly as bad as the reviews suggest, but there are definitely some problems.
First, the story is overly complex. I like the basic idea — promoting responsibility for creatively saving the world through an embrace of science, technology, and innovation — but it gets lost with the difficult to grasp conflict exemplified by a “bad guy” lording over the failed future state. Perhaps there were just too many difficult to illustrate ideas?
Second, the characters. There’s a complex triangle being displayed here with the young and old Clooney character tying things together with the young never aging girl who reaches out to the main female character to create an interesting dynamic as the trio move together through time. We’re never really sure where to focus in these relationships which introduces some confusion.
What I’ve just written puts me in the mind of another famous (infamous?) Science-fiction misfire by Disney, The Black Hole, which also, for its time, featured spectacular visuals along with a convoluted story.
All that said, I greatly enjoyed the movie. Brad Bird’s imagination is all over this movie with the visual puns and flights of fancy literally wondrous to behold. We’ve become accustomed to the “anything is possible” capabilities of modern CGI and computer graphics but the layers of visual detail on display here really are awe-inspiring.
Our initial tour of Tomorrowland and its wonders along with amazingly detailed street scenes populated by a healthy and happy multi-ethnic population provides a spectacular update to the futuristic cityscapes once on display in Strange Adventures and Mysteries In Space comics.
Let’s call this movie a wonderful misfire worthy of repeat viewings. The ending is convoluted and prolonged — does the world really need another giant robot fight? — but Tomorrowland is different and definitely worth reviewing, if only for the amazing sets, visuals, and ideas.
Review copyright (c) 2015 by Dennis D. McDonald