I love movies. I love writing about them. Hope you like reading what I write.
The way I see it, the blockbusters of 2015 are out of the dark-age that was the 2000’s. Not dark-age as in those movies were all bad, some were some of the best I’ve ever seen. What I mean is that there has been a tonal shift in some of the bigger ticket sellers, from dark and broody, post-911 skepticism to something a tad more upbeat than, say, The Dark Knight.
Enter Tomorrowland: A World Beyond, the Disney produced passion project from the writer director of modern classics, The Iron Giant, The Incredibles and Ratatouille, Brad Bird. Its story revolves around George Clooney and Britt Robertson and an adventure to a special, futuristic realm known as Tomorrowland.
Not only does this movie’s light-hearted and often classic Spielbergianly whimsical tone a sign of the direction films seem to be going this decade, but the entire theme of this movie is the different ways one could look to the future. Should we accept the problems of the world as our eventual doom, or should we attempt against the odds to provide solutions? Dystopia vs Utopia.
Representing the former camp is George Clooney’s character Frank, an inventor who has been hurt by his hopes for the future dashed by predictions that no matter what he does, there is no hope. Clooney does an excellent job as this pessimist. He’s grumpy and complains about the positive outlook of his supporting players, but he’s never truly cold. More like a grandfather than House M.D. (Coincidentally Hugh Laurie makes an appearance in this movie.)
Looking on the bright side is Britt Robertson as Casey Newton, another inventor who discovers the world that Frank is a part of. I really like Casey and Robertson is a good fit. A charming, funny and kind-hearted young woman who has the strength to take on the odds. My one gripe with her is her age. She is meant to be in high school, but I found that she fitted college-age a little better and I think that the story would have been little affected by this change. Of course, this is a very minor nit-pick.
Other problems lie with small plot-holes I found and some of the corniness (almost quite literally) didn’t sit too well with me.
However, like I say this cheese is meant to be there. A throwback to the mature family-friendly science fiction films of yesteryear. In fact, an entire scene takes place in a seller of comic books and other such nerdy merchandise. Needless to say there are plenty of easter eggs that I’m certain that the filmmakers very much enjoyed putting in these little tributes.
One thing I haven’t touched on yet, which I ought to, is the way this movie looks. When we first get a good look at Tomorrowland the film gives you the reason behind its approximately $200 Million budget. This film is more stunning than Avatar in its use of CGI to build literally A World Beyond. The first shot within the city is a long tracking shot of Casey as she explores the world’s majesty. I, like most cinefiles, am a sucker for a long tracking shot and this one cemented a place in my visual memory. Years from now, I believe I will close my eyes and look through 2015’s movies like a slideshow and that shot will be one of the centerpieces.
The action is pretty great too. What I didn’t mention earlier was that Brad Bird is also the director of Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol, and that experience obviously stood him in good stead for this film’s often breathtaking fight scenes that utilised a child-like imagination and adult skill.
I’m a firm believer in the balance of CGI and practical effects to bring a film to life. I know for certain that this film has a huge amount of CGI and I can’t be sure how many effects were done practically. All I can say is that it’s some of the best use of computers in film I’ve seen in years.
This film is good enough to get a sequel, but, as with many good films, I feel that the world they’ve built here is beautiful and intricate enough to stand on its own. It’s no great masterpiece, but I did enjoy it thoroughly.
All I can say with this film which uses state-of-the-art technology and a pretty strong story, the future looks bright.
Recommended Scenario: When you want your whole family to enjoy a look at a tomorrow which is a little more upbeat than Mad Max: Fury Road.
If what I have written tells you that you would like this film, you can book tickets to see it at your local Cineworld here.