When this George Clooney starrer came out it was roundly poo-pooed by critics and the ticket-buying public at large so for me there was a feeling of trepidation as the opening titles popped up but as I normally do I tried to ignore the chatter about the film and go in with my eyes open. At times this is a difficult thing to do but I am glad I can usually do it.
No mistake this is a good and interesting film. Yes, that’s right Tomorrowland is good and is an interesting film, even with Damon Lindelof the plot-hole king on the writing duties. Mind you with Brad Bird on directing duties and helping write it could equally be surmised that the film would be at the least okay.
It is an adventure film wherein you don’t really know what is happening or going to happen for most of the running time. You can’t really say that about most films nowadays.
For those that like exploding helicopters and monsters every five minutes then this probably is not the film for you, although it has to be said there is a fair amount of action, chases and thrills scattered throughout to keep those that do not really lot plot and character development too much.
The setting for the alternate place of ‘Tomorrowland’ is visually stunning, if a little ‘seen some of this before’ but it never overwhelms the viewer and although denies logic most of time it never jarred me out of the story.
The main premise of the film revolving around negativity and self-fulfilling prophecies is actually a good intellectual point and conversation starter without it feeling too heavy in what can be seen to be film for youngsters. It could easily start up some interesting post-film conversations and if it makes kids do this is that really a bad thing?
The acting too is something to be recommended. George Clooney brings his usual solid and likeable performance to his role and the ‘grown-up child genius’ and you believe that his life has taken a turn for the worse that he cannot let go. Britt Robertson playing younger that she is just about passes for a teenage girl but right from the start I felt she was not as young as the film was making out – probably more the cynic in me than the actor’s performance. The standout for me was Raffey Cassidy, who played her role to perfection, I cannot really say way or how because it spoils the movie for those that have not seen it yet but this young actor earned every drop of praise she got for this role.
It was also good to see Hugh Laurie flesh out a hero giving him motivation and more to his character than just evil.If Tomorrowland trips anywhere it is in its tone. It seems to be intense, with something fairly big and controversial to say, if not original, and is surely aimed at a younger audience and breezes along with a good helping of humour and funny spots only for some peripheral characters to suddenly end up meeting horrible and unexpected deaths. It seemed a bit of misstep to me, no need to be all soft and fuzzy but to have a sudden deaths of complete innocents suddenly pop up mid-stream seemed, well, odd.
Overall Tomorrowland is an engrossing story, with something interesting to say, if not wholly original, but it passed the test of ‘did it entertain you’. That it most certainly did.