Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Film Review: "Tomorrowland" (2015).




The poster for the film reads "Imagine a place where nothing is impossible." This is the basis for Tomorrowland. This science fiction mystery adventure film directed by Brad Bird, and co-written and produced by Bird and Damon Lindelof. The film tells the story of a former boy genius and a young girl bursting with scientific curiosity, who are bound by a shared destiny, as they embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space, a place that exists in their collective memory, an ambiguous dimension known as 'Tomorrowland'. Where their actions directly affect the world and themselves.

Walt Disney Pictures originally announced the film in June 2011 under the working title 1952, and later retitled it to Tomorrowland, after the futuristic themed land found at Disney theme parks.  Lindelof signed on to write and produce it. In May 2012, Bird was hired as director. Later in November 2012, Clooney entered negotiations to star in the film. In February 2013, Laurie joined the film. In July 2013, Britt Robertson was cast. Tomorrowland, as first conceived by Walt Disney back in the 50's and 60's, was to showcase what the future would hold for the world. Bird and Lindelof's screenplay was heavily influenced by Disney's optimistic philosophy of innovation and utopia. On January 23, 2013, nearly a week before the title change, Bird posted a picture on his Twitter page related to the project. The image showed a frayed cardboard box labeled 1952, supposedly uncovered from the Walt Disney Imagineering developmental unit, and containing items like archival photographs of Walt Disney, Technicolorfilm, envelopes, a vinyl record, space technology literature, a 1928 copy of an Amazing Stories magazine, and an unidentified metal object. On August 10, 2013, Bird and Lindelof gave a presentation at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California. They opened the "1952" box and revealed many of its contents. Later that day a pavilion was unveiled on the D23 Expo show floor which presented the items for close inspection by guests

The film stars George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Britt Robertson and Raffey Cassidy. Despite the performances being superbly performed by the cast, some of the characters lacked motive, explanation, and development. Clooney gave another stellar performance despite being too charming to play a bitter old man. Laurie's character, despite being my favorite character, lacked the motive, explanation and development that I mentioned. And his reveal is rather underwhelming. Robertson gave an amazing performance, her only flaw was that her character lacked development here and there. Cassidy gave an incredible performance as a child of wisdom and knowledge. However, she lacked the grounded reality, or cynicism, that is often associated with wisdom and knowledge and sometimes bordered on the cliches of playing that archetypal character.

It is a pity to see the Disney craftsmen doing what they do best on such a grand and risky scale with Tomorrowland and fail at it. If one has time for only one science fiction mystery adventure film this season, this is not the one to choose. The film suffers due to the fact that Bird and Lindelof desperately tried to fuse Disney's characteristic kiddie, schmaltzy, sentimental and naively optimistic flare, the park's innovative and imaginative ideals with Star Wars-style action and world-building in the space of a tight two hour running time.

Simon says Tomorrowland receives:


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