June 9, 2015

Movie Review: Tomorrowland (2015)

It seems like the art of trailer making is long gone. Yes, on occasion there are good ones, but more often than not, we get the movie condensed to two and a half minutes. A good example of a bad trailer would be last year's Carrie remake, sure a good portion of us know what happens in the movie, but the rest just need to watch the trailer, it tells you everything. Then there are trailers like the one for Tomorrowland, it intrigued me, it got my interest, yet I had absolutely no idea what the movie was about. It is a trailer that wants you to see the movie to find out just what it is. It worked.

The film was directed by Brad Bird, so that means it has to have some interest from me, considering he also helmed The Incredibles, Iron Giant, Ratatouille, and what may be the best of the Mission Impossible movies, Ghost Protocol. He was also involved in the screenplay, along with Lost's Damon Lindelof. Toss in a cast that includes George Clooney and Hugh Laurie, and you have a movie that is certainly worth looking into, the mystery of its content is a bonus.

Tomorrowland is based on the Disneyland attraction that was based on Walt Disney's ideas of the future. Beyond that, I cannot say that I know much about the attraction and have never been to Disneyland. It just comes in a series of movies based on Disney attractions in the wake of the mega-successful Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Now, the question it, does it work as a movie? The answer is yes and no.

The movie tells the story of Frank Walker (Clooney), who as a youngster is recruited for his hopeful imagination and scientific ingenuity to be part of a group creating the world of the future. It is also the story of Casey (Britt Alexander), teen girl who may be able to save the future world from destruction. Seems like a weird blend of storylines, but I think this movie is meant to be a bit more than just a plot. I suspect Tomorrowland is more about the ideas, the big picture, than it is about a specific plot.

There is a lot of interesting stuff in this movie, the interplay between the present and the future, with a touch of the past. The execution of technology and how it can be used for the betterment off humanity, not to mention the cool holographic technology stuff. It is also interesting to watch Casey as she is thrust into this adventure, trying to figure out just what is happening and just how she fits into it.

The technology is cool and it is interesting to think about how tech can be used for the betterment of society, but it is also interesting to watch what the movie is really about. And what is it about? Hope. Yes, that's right, the movie is about hope and how the current world does not seem to have a whole lot of it.

Tomorrowland is about having hope for the future, looking for answers, for solutions. It is a flawed film, the world does not seem to be created all that well, making the outcome not quite as effective as it could have been. Still, this is a movie that is all about the positive. It is a movie that seeks to erase the cynicism and negativity that we are constantly being force fed from any number of angles, it wants us to keep up hope and to question why things are the way they are and to seek ways of improving the situation.

It is not a great movie, the execution feels a bit lackluster, but there is no denying it has a good message and is certainly worth watching for it.


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