4 Jun 2015

Tomorrowland - film review

From At The Movies, 7:31 pm on 4 June 2015

Directed by Brad Bird, starring George Clooney and Hugh Laurie.

Simon Morris reviews Tomorrowland, an old-fashioned look back on the future…

The latest Disneyland attraction to be converted into a movie is Uncle Walt’s beloved Tomorrowland.

It opens with sparky heroine Casey Newton, under arrest for trying to keep Cape Canaveral a going concern. Casey finds herself in possession of a magic pin, with a big “T” on it. She touches it and is suddenly transported to a gleaming, shiny city of the future.

Look out, kids, we’re in for a wild ride…

And that’s what we get – a wild ride, rather than a real story. Not just a wild ride, but a ride with a moral – to wit, we can sort out the oncoming, miserable dystopia with a positive attitude. But good intentions can only go so far.

Tomorrowland started as a ride, and it remains a ride, for all the bold ideas director Brad Bird brings to it.  

The performances are endearing – George Clooney and his two young companions echoing early Doctor Who – but it’s not enough.

Tomorrowland – like the pin with the giant “T” logo on it – looks like it’s selling us something. And 50 years after Disney, I’m not sure there’s still a market for it.