Review: Tomorrowland – A pretty picture that falls apart when you think about it
AESTHETICALLY, this is a great movie. The CGI looks stunning, the cinematography is spot on and the actors perform well. Unfortunately, it’s the script that lets it down.
I’ve always been a fan of Space Age stylisation; from Fallout to Venture Bros., it’s a style that allows for some real creativity, but it can also be heavily reliant on previous work to create a paint-by-numbers world. Luckily, Tomorrowland does run with it and creates some beautiful and original (for the most part) set designs.
Every scene that is set in the actual world of Tomorrowland is amazing to behold, but this works against the film as we begin to notice how few scenes and locations we get to actually explore in Tomorrowland. For a world that was created and established solely for the film, when we actually get there we’re treated to about two or three different locations.
The film is set around Casey Newton (Britt Robertson). (Get it? Like Issac Newton – I just wanted to explain that because of how subtle the joke is If you didn’t get it, the scene where she blatantly holds an apple for no reason will remind you.) She’s special because she scores a 73 in a vague test. What’s the test? What relation does it have to anything? Never explained, but George Clooney only scored a 43! So, she’s clearly special.
Casey is ‘recruited’ by an android named Athena (Raffey Cassidy) that gives her a small pin showing her Tomorrowland whenever she touches it. As we learn, Tomorrowland is a location where the smartest and brightest of the world have a place to work on their projects without worry of money or politics getting in the way. It turns out that the world has been completely closed off to Earth when someone created something they shouldn’t.
*Slight spoilers in the remainder of the article*
This “something” is a machine that can see into the future. It’s predicted with 100% certainty that the world will end, except when Casey starts becoming passionate about saving the world the percentage begins to drop. I will admit, this is an interesting plot for a film, with a solid build up, yet it completely fails in execution.
After hearing that, we as an audience would assume that Casey has to use her passion in some way to convince people in the world to change their ways. Then we’d assume that this, coupled with the juxtaposition of the land in which science is dominant, creates an environmental message that doesn’t feel preachy. Trouble is, this isn’t how the film ends. No! Mankind doesn’t need to change! It turns out it wasn’t even our fault that the world was ending, of course! Well thank heavens for that, I was worried we were doing something wrong there for a second.
I get the feeling that this isn’t the way the film was supposed to end, but Disney or some other executive body decided to step in. I’ve seen nothing to support this, but it would make scene. Several parts of the movie have build-up that go nowhere, leading to a rather disappointing climax. This film had a lot of potential, but falls short at the end. I would have also liked to have seen a lot more of Tomorrowland. If I solely judged this film on its visuals it would be quite highly ranked, but scripting issues and plotholes make this a piece that leaves little impact.