When you go into a Brad Bird film, you go in with sky-high expectations. Bird is the director of animation classics such as The Incredibles, The Iron Giant, and Ratatouille. It seems any film he touches (or takes over) turns to gold. Tomorrowland, while incredibly intriguing, falls short of reaching the Brad Bird gold standard.
Tomorrowland is a film that is loosely based on the famous outer space-themed section of the Disney Parks of the same name. Frank Walker (George Clooney) is a farm boy inventor who wants to change the world. He submits his half-baked jetpack invention in the 1964 World’s Fair and is turned away. But one girl, Athena (Raffey Cassidy) sees promise in him and gives him a pin and transports him to Tomorrowland: an alternate dimension where only the world’s best and brightest go to form a new society.
Jump to modern day and we meet another burgeoning bright mind, Casey (Britt Robertson), who finds the mysterious Tomorrowland pin. However, her pin just gives her trailer-esque glimpses of the new world, and she goes on a desperate quest to find out how to get there. This is where she mets up with a now crotchety and recluse Frank, who’s hiding out in a high-tech fortress-like home in the woods trying to forget about Tomorrowland. Quickly, danger strikes as robot agents disguised as humans attack Frank’s house, causing the unlikely duo to go on the run.
Tomorrowland is both good and bad. The first half of the film is so engaging, novel and interesting; you can’t help but get drawn into the premise. Around the midway point, I thought to myself, “Ok, but where’s the conflict?” And that’s where the film starts to fade. Towards the end of the movie, it gets lost in its own anthology causing the narrative to get convoluted, despite its best ambitious. The conflict is a bit farfetched and takes away from the fun and whimsy that we were introduced to when we first entered Tomorrowland.
Going into Tomorrowland, I was expecting the standard Brad Bird levels of awesomeness. Going out, although I saw pieces of that awesomeness, I left scratching my head in mild disappointment. The first half was so good, part of me wishes I could travel to an alternate dimension where Tomorrowland‘s ending matches up.
Edited by: Kelly Conley