Starring: George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy
Director: Brad Bird
Running Time: 130 mins
Tomorrowland: A World Beyond is an American film about a teenage girl who finds a magic pin that transports her to a perfect future world, and in order to return there, she seeks the help of a former boy genius with a history linked to the promised land.
Well, serious credit goes to Disney’s marketing department for hiding the reality of this film. From the trailers, it appears a mysterious, exciting and awesome sci-fi story, but as soon as the film starts, there’s no escaping the fact that this is sadly just a generic kids’ movie, with a preposterous story, cheesy and preachy themes and little character intrigue.
On the plus side, the visual effects are fantastic. Even though Tomorrowland isn’t where the majority of the story takes place, when the characters are there, it is a visually brilliant film to watch, with a presentation of a bright utopia that does make you long to travel there, helping you to support the characters’ cause a bit more.
Despite that, there’s little to get properly interested in here, because everything is so family-oriented and weak. The biggest disappointment is the characters. Whilst the performances by Britt Robertson, George Clooney and Raffey Cassidy are fine, their characters are as dull and generic as anything.
Robertson puts glee into her performance of an otherwise unrealistic and overly happy teenager, Cassidy appears to enjoy her show as a mysterious little girl whose secret is revealed way too early, making that character especially dull, and Clooney puts in a good show as an older man who is meant to be grinchy and pessimistic, but is still far too positive to make him any different from the kids in the film.
And that concept is a prevalent one throughout this whole film, it’s just too happy and fun. Of course, that’s fantastic for kids, and as I saw at the screening, kids loved this film, but for anyone over 12 years old, this is not interesting at all, because it plays everything too safe and avoids taking potentially darker and more intriguing turns and instead opts for a generic Disneyfied sci-fi adventure, where the fun action and childish jokes are the main part of the story, not the genuine excitement or interest.
What’s more is that the themes here are just so cheesy. Without wishing to spoil it, the main idea here revolves around positive thinking and optimism, and this film is so preachy about its primary school message that it ends on a one minute-long montage showing that everyone is special, and if they dream and think positively, they too can change the world.
Finally, the story in this film is absolutely preposterous. On paper, the concept works as a simple sci-fi, but as the film goes on and becomes bigger and bigger, more and more stupid things start to happen, to the point where you can’t get interested in it at all because it’s all so ridiculous.
Overall, this gets a 5.7, because despite its cool effects and decent performances, the characters, themes and plot lines here are so cheesily Disneyfied to the extent that this is more of a preachy kids’ film than the expected mysterious sci-fi action movie.