- Brad Bird brings us one of the greatest animated films of all time and an exquisite love letter to 1950s science fiction.The Incredibles
- Brad Bird brings us one of, if not THE greatest superhero movie of all time.Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
- Brad Bird DOES the impossible and brings us not only an action movie masterpiece but one of the few Tom Cruise films you can watch without being overcome by an intense desire to stamp on the grinning midget’s neck.Tomorrowland
...........Brad Bird obviously had some bills to pay. **** SPOILERS ****
On watching it, the first glaring flaw is that we spend more time on backwater American roads than we do in the titular Tomorrowland. When we DO get there, it's hardly the place of pure inspiration it's built up as. There's a robot, a concrete walkway, some christmas lights and Hugh Laurie. That’s your (underwhelming) lot. All other evidence regarding this fantastic world comes in one of two forms: androids disguised as humans, whose only sign of being a machine is the constant blinking and grinning and the occasional disembodied hand/head being thrown around by the second sign of tomorrow-tech: explosions. If something doesn’t explode in this film, you are generally informed that it has the potential to.
Next we have the characters, who are all as irritating as they are stupid. The girl who is the main focus of the tale (I can’t remember the name, nor can I be bothered to go to IMDB. This movie isn’t worth the effort to provide that level of accuracy) is supposed to be a genius, but she keeps doing the stupidest things. Not in a Doc-Brown-bumbling-eccentricity kind of way: she’s just a f**king moron.
Example A – she finds that pin thing that lets her see Tomorrowland, but she’s physically still in the real world, so moving around causes her to bump into things. Funny, right? Yeah. ONCE. She does it several times, and seems surprised on each.
Example B – The android that joins her says it has a security protocol that causes it to shut down if she asks it too many questions……so straight after she’s informed of this, she asks a question. It’s not funny. It’s irritating.
Example C – During the painful opening, she keeps interrupting the story that George Clooney is wearily trying to tell. Again and again and again. You should not want to KILL the main character before you have even been properly introduced to them!
George Clooney and Hugh Laurie could have been replaced by blocks of wood with pages of exposition nailed to them. They don’t really do much of any interest. George sets off some of the previously mentioned explosions and Hugh wears weird coat. That’s about it.
I also have to mention the younger brother of the main character. Not because he does anything wrong, it’s just I’m freaked out by how much he looks like a child in the Tommy Lee Jones disaster film Volcano
…..which is impossible, because that movie was made 20 years ago.
is a “message” movie. One of those that that preaches the tired "the future will only be a good place if we make it so" line, somehow with LESS subtlety than the likes of Day After Tomorrow
It also does it with considerably less sense. We get informed that our world is going to end in 50-or-so days, with the main character seeing glimpses of a future where nuclear bombs are going off and every natural disaster is occurring. According to the narrative: her optimism will prevent ALL of that.
Uh…..how? All they seem to be doing at the end of the movie is be bringing more people to Tomorrowland, which we’ve already been told is safe from the approaching apocalypse. Aren’t they needed on Earth?! Also: while I believe movie-logic permits a single character’s optimism to prevent World War 3, I don’t see how it’s going to halt and/or reverse global warming in 50 f**king days. Sorry, kid; your house is still gonna sink.
For a movie that harps on about inspiration and dreaming big, Tomorrowland
does very little to actually inspire. Its writers obviously love classic science fiction imagery, there are 3 major nods to The Rocketeer
, and it’s clear such films inspired them, but they forgot WHY they were inspiring. Being sat down and told that inspiration and grand ambition are good does not actually prompt one to pursue either. If The Rocketeer
was written in the same way as Tomorrowland
, Cliff Secord would find the Rocket-pack in the opening act and spend the rest of the movie TALKING about how great it would be to fly rather than actually SHOWING it.Would that have been as inspiring as seeing him loop ‘round a Nazi Zeppelin in the skies above 30s Los Angeles?