Based on Disneyland’s theme park attraction, Tomorrowland is a futuristic dimension filled with nostalgia, nifty technology and the world’s smartest individuals whose aim is to solve Earth’s exhaustive problems. Here, the possibilities are endless. The sci-fi adventure stars breakout actress Britt Robertson as Casey Newton, a rebellious science prodigy who discovers an intriguing glimpse into the promising Tomorrowland, and in her search for answers, meets Frank Walker (George Clooney), a disenchanted inventor who holds the knowledge about the mystery of Tomorrowland.
Robertson’s Casey is optimistic and hopeful, a stark contrast to Clooney’s Frank, who is dispirited with the world around him and the future. Nonetheless, Robertson is an excellent counterpart to Clooney’s, demonstrating the opposing notions of optimism and pessimism in the growing issue of the future. Bird effectively showcases the apparent themes of the film through excellent characterisation. With his classic charm, Clooney is solid as a disillusioned scientist and later, is a supportive mentor to Robertson’s eager and promising Casey. However, young newcomer Raffey Cassidy, who plays the bright Athena, completely steals the spotlight with her soulful look and remarkable performance.
Directed by Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille), Tomorrowland is visionally stunning, filled with impressive CGI and wondrous technological landscape that is hopeful of a better and more efficient future. Inspired by Disneyland’s high-tech attractions – Space Mountain, Star Tours, Autopia – Bird successfully captured Walt Disney’s vision of Tomorrowland as a “living blueprint of our future”.
Even with a bankable name – yes, George Clooney – on posters, Disney took a significant gamble by creating an original concept in a time where big Hollywood studios rely on reboots and superhero films to bring in high box office numbers. However, with impressive cinematography and a talented cast, Tomorrowland is a creative and refreshing piece of film that is brimming with optimism and prosperity.
Nevertheless, Tomorrowland is just like its own futuristic premise – flawed and problematic. With mesmerising landscapes and grand creativity, Bird fails to demonstrate the creativity beyond the picturesque visuals and instead focuses on the idea of the future, rather that showing it. For a film that emphasises on the notion of “Tomorrowland”, audiences are – like Casey – only given a brief look into Tomorrowland. As a result, the film falls short of giving audiences the escapism that is almost within their reach.
Filled with spectacular visual effects, illustrating high-concept buildings, futuristic transport, Tomorrowland is a world where dreams are possible and adventure is limitless.
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