Tomorrowland: A World Beyond
Brad Bird’s latest flight of fancy
Release Date: OUT NOW!
12A | 130 minutes Director: Brad Bird Cast: George Clooney, Thomas Robinson, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie, Raffey Cassidy, Kathryn Hahn
So is it all about
Disneyland? Does it have anything to do with that weird box of clues on Twitter? Do we find out why George Clooney has an exploding bathtub? Err... Yes and no. The fact that you leave Tomorrowland with more questions than answers is sort of the whole point. Brad Bird might have already ditched live action to rejoin Pixar, but there’s more ideas buzzing around his latest sci- fi opus than his old animation alumni have mustered in a decade.
We pick up the first story strand at the 1964 World’s Fair. Budding inventor Frank Walker ( Thomas Robinson) meets a creepy girl ( Raffey Cassidy) and follows her into a secret passage that ferries him to a future metropolis – half Jules Verne, half Apple Store. Skip to story strand number two and troubled teenager Casey ( Britt Robertson) meets the same creepy girl, this time hopping back to the future via a magic badge.
By the time strand one meets strand two, we’re already toddler deep in jet packs, alternate time dimensions and audio- animatronic terminator kids – not to mention story strands. Requiring a slightly higher knowledge of Tachyonic Field Technology than most average eight- year- olds possess, the last act feels more like Interstellar than Escape To Witch Mountain. Then again, as a grumpy Walker says to Casey around the mid- point, “Why do you have to keep asking so many questions? Can’t you just... be amazed?”
Indeed, if you’re willing to let a few things slide, Tomorrowland is one of the best family blockbusters in years. Bird’s CG world is bursting with visual invention – a wholly original sci- fi that’s both savvy and uncynical, offering a welcome alternative to the usual dystopias that plague multiplexes. Clooney makes a great grizzled tour guide, and Hugh Laurie pops up as ( spoiler alert!) an evil Englishman, but it’s Robertson who really holds things together with smarts and spunk way beyond the plot knots.
Is it a kids’ film dressed up as adult sci- fi? Is it the other way around? Is it all really about Disneyland? Just shut up and be amazed. Paul Bradshaw The film has this longer title in Europe because there’s a Belgian music festival called Tomorrowland.
Did the movie cost even more than his wedding?