Don't Miss

Tomorrowland – Joint Review


Release Date: 22nd May 2015 [USA]
Director: Brad Bird
Writer: Damon Lindelof - Brad Bird - Jeff Jensen [Story] Damon Lindelof - Bard Bird [Screenplay]
Cast: George Clooney - Britt Robertson - Hugh Laurie

Posted May 26, 2015 by

Full Article

Tomorrowland – Joint Review

Theo’s Perspective:

Well… I feel generous. Let me rephrase that: I want to make you believe that I am generous, in regard of the ratings I have given to this movie. Brad Bird is the brilliant director of ‘Ratatouille’ or ‘The Incredibles’, for which he even won an Oscar, his first attempt in making a movie (that is not an animated one) being ‘Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol’. He is here directing ‘Tomorrowland’, and assisted in the writing of the script by Damon Lindelof (TV show ‘Lost’, ‘Crossing Jordan’, ‘The Leftovers’) and a journalist named Jeff Jensen, who also wrote the novel ‘Before Tomorrowland’ to serve it as a prequel to the film. And the film (and the book, logically), instead of being the more-or-less faithful adaptation to whichever book, is the transcription of what are the “Tomorrowland” theme parks within the Disneyland resorts. Hence a big Disney production.

We meet Franck, as a kid, going to the 1964 World Fair in order to present his genuinely home-made jetpack to the big Invertor’s Contest. He meets Dave (Hugh Laurie, from ‘Street Kings’, ‘The Man in the Iron Mask’ and TV show ‘House MD’) and a little girl named Athena. Despite of the fact that Dave rejected his invention, being unfinished, Athena urges Franck to follow Dave, with the use of a special pin, to what appears to our eyes as the famous Tomorrowland, where everything is possible, and where all the inventors can create the fruit of their ideas, without any kind of boundaries. Convinient…

Later, we meet Casey (Brittany Robertson, quite unknown until the TV show ‘Under the Dome’) tries her best to help her father keeping his job as an engineer at the Cape Canaveral station. She eventually founds the same sort of pin, the same that the one previously used by Franck, that shows her the world of Tomorrowland whenever she touches it. She will do her best to find that magical place, with the help of Franck (Georges Clooney, from the ‘Nespresso commercials’) who became an adult.

Once again, I won’t go any further into the story, for the very reason that all of the story is unbelievably predictable : you can guess what type of sequence will follow the one you are actually watching, almost to the point of guessing the actual sentences of the characters, the little jokes they put here and there to try and make the viewer smile, even a little. The morality of the movie lays in the idea that the world is in a bad shape mostly because people accept it nevertheless, and that the only people that can actually make a difference are the dreamers. Oh boy is that an epiphany…

We are also served with the most pathetic love story of a boy with a robot-girl, love so strong that it endured fifty years of separation between the two protagonists… I know I can’t be objective by saying that, but the whole movie is fake, fake in its intentions, fake in its emotions, fake in its willingness to create some tension between the characters etc. Ironically, the real “fake” (by that, I mean the CGIs and the visual effects) is actually quite good. It is rather pleasant to walk around Tomorrowland, for the few minutes we have to visit it in the eyes of Casey. Only a few minutes.

I think the worst thing is that I have absolutely no idea what I could have done, if I was to be the director of the film, to make it better, since it was an original scripting. And yes, an original script where sixty years old Georges Clooney is in love with an eleven year old lookalike robot. I can’t believe I actually wrote that. I mustn’t be one of the dreamer, therefore I won’t be accepted in Tomorrowland… Well, their loss, I guess!

Written By:

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 15.21.38

Theo Tessa
Full Contributor


Michael’s Perspective:

Coming into Tomorrowland with no prior knowledge of it may leave potential cinema goers curious, hopefully interested, when it seems every blockbuster in recent times is a sequel, reboot or comic-book adaptation. Do your homework and you’ll find Tomorrowland is a zone in the Disney theme parks around the world. Last time we got a movie based on a theme-park attraction it produced the now iconic Captain Jack Sparrow. With the brilliant Brad Bird at the helm of this picture, might the same success repeat itself?

We see, in 1964, a young Frank Walker make his way to the New York World Fair to showcase his homemade jetpack. While rejected by his invention’s judge David Nix (Hugh Laurie) he does however catch the eye of the similarly aged and enigmatic Athena who gives him a special pin. Said pin grants him access to the amazing Tomorrowland (which turns out to be something of a geographical oddity). Flash-forward to modern day and Frank (now George Clooney) is for some reason back home and a bad-tempered hermit, all his youthful optimism gone.

Then we’re introduced to Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) another child genius with a knack for sabotaging government property that eventually lands her in jail. Among her belongings Casey discovers a pin similar to that given to Frank. On touching it she’s instantly transported to Tomorrowland but the pin’s power does not last. Who gave it to her? How does she get back to Tomorrowland? And just what happened to Frank Walker?

There is an old-fashioned whimsical feel to Tomorrowland, assisted greatly by Michael Giacchino’s thrilling score, capable of evoking child-like wonder. Despite the movie being aimed at the future, many things you marvel over are quite retro. The Flash Gordon style laser blasters, Jetsons-esque flying cars and then the jetpacks (which are always cool, more so when they’re retro). The design is deliberate, harking back to Walt Disney’s EPCOT concept of the 60’s but also possibly because unfortunately very little of the gadgetry you see is original. The future isn’t now, it was fifty years ago apparently.

The CG is impressive, with one Looney Tunes-inspired scene involving a plummeting Frank trying to “swim” through the air to his also-plummeting jetpack. Better still is the attack on Frank’s house by human-lookalike robots (with the biggest shit-eating grins you’ve ever seen). Frank pulls out every magnetic and electrified stop he has.

As wonderful as the effects scenes and action sequences are, the movie can drag in between. Inside a moving car has been an exposition cliché for a long time now. Then there’s the sci-fi memorabilia store scene. It’s understandable that Disney and its people are psyched to now have the reins of Star Wars but this scene took the piss. Like they bought George Lucas’ car for a song and then took it for donuts in the front garden. The most difficult crime to forgive is being introduced to the always wicked Hugh Laurie and then having to wait until the end of the movie to see him again.

Tomorrowland’s two key performers brim with chemistry. Robertson is energetic throughout, displaying confusion, awe and humour with great timing.

Clooney pulls off his best Harrison Ford impression, gruff and cranky at the beginning but cracks in his exterior begin to show as we learn more about him and his misfortune. His childhood and later adulthood relationship with Athena is certainly original, coming across as ridiculous at times but it ultimately ends on the movie’s most heartfelt moment.

Laurie is sadly not given nearly enough screen time. While villain monologues tend to be incredibly stupid (Now that I have you tied to this chair, I’m going to tell you my entire plan! Don’t try to escape while I’m talking!), Laurie’s speech succeeds in turning the movie’s main dilemma on its head. His point is undeniable and may actually make you feel a little guilty for not dreaming a little bigger (darling).

Whatever missteps Tomorrowland makes, it’s most admirable quality is its ambition. This movie gives post-apocalyptic and dystopia the cold shoulder, wanting whole-heartedly to embrace a brighter future. Given that sequels, reboots and adaptations are much more financially sound, Tomorrowland may be punching above its weight. But don’t let that stop you from being swept up by its contagious optimism (and if you don’t like jetpacks, there’s something wrong with you).

Written by:


Michael Keyes
Silences Band
Full Contributor


Read Similar Articles?…

[Joint Review] – Fantastic Four
[Joint Review] – ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E’
[Joint Review] – ‘Jurassic World’

Reviews | Joint Reviews | Articles | Debates | Promotions | Interviews |

Join The Debate! Leave us a comment…


Be the first to comment!

Leave a Response


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.