One of this summer’s big family films, Tomorrowland, has now been released. Featuring George Clooney, Hugh Laurie and Britt Robertson, Tomorrowland tells the story of another world in a different dimension created by the smartest people of Earth; a place for science and the arts to flourish.
Disappointingly we don’t actually get to see that magnificent world until after two-thirds of the film which is a real shame. Most of the film is about Britt Robertson’s character, Casey Newton, how she is ‘special’ for some reason, and the way in which she can ‘save’ Tomorrowland from the evil clutches of generic baddy, Hugh Laurie. The performances from Britt Robertson works within the film and she manages to hold her own when directly paired with veteran actor George Clooney. Hugh Laurie and Clooney deliver strong performances as expected, however Hugh Laurie’s character was heavily underused and was a “bad” guy because of “reasons”. He wasn’t the only character heavily underutilized as we also had an unfunny small scene with top comedic actors Kathryn Hahn and Keegan-Michael Key. The real star from this film is the young actress, Raffey Cassidy, who plays Athena. Her role becomes consistently more complex as the film goes on as we learn more about her character and Raffey Cassidy does an excellent job.
There was some controversy surrounding this movie, as the director Brad Bird gave up the chance of being involved with the Star Wars franchise as he was offered a chance to contribute. Brad Bird supposedly gave up that opportunity to mak this film. From interviews with Brad Bird he has said that Tomorrowland was too far into pre-production for him to shelf the idea for even longer, so he had to turn down the offers for other films. After seeing this film, I understand why he turned down the roles. Not just because of pre-production, but because of the message behind the film.
The major redeeming feature of this film is the message. The message in Tomorrowland is strong and depressingly unique. We are the dreamers and achieving our dreams is what makes us human. A sweet statement when faced with constant pressure in everyday live. Let’s build, let’s create and let’s have fun. Brad Bird wouldn’t be able to present this message if he had done a Star Wars sequel, or any other sequel/prequel projects he was offered. Doing this new film gave him the platform to send out a message which I believe is close to Brad Bird’s heart.
This film would have been great if they had cut it down by 20 minutes and thrown away unnecessary scenes. Focused more on the exploits at Tomorrowland and less on Britt Robertson’s character’s family life. The pacing for this film was all over the place and the way information is shared, or lack of, made the film confusing at times. Overall an above-average film with poor pacing but a strong message.
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