Tomorrowland is a movie with a fantastic trailer, great – albeit not groundbreaking – special effects and a story with enough plot twists to keep your little head spinning around the entire time. Unfortunately, that’s where the ingenuity stops. You would expect that a director who’s given us so many amazing things, like The Incredibles and Mission: Impossible 4 would be more than competent to turn Disney’s latest action-packed science-fiction adventure into a wild thrill-ride, but somewhere down the line Brad Bird stuffs his movie with so much information that it feels like a two-hour traveller’s guide who just won’t shut up!
Think of it like this: after nearly two hours, Tomorrowland is still explaining stuff about its own universe. And the audience still has so many questions that haven’t been answered properly. Why don’t we start with the story? Tomorrowland tells the futuristic story of a girl who finds a pin and upon touching it sees a whole new world, far more beautiful than the grey area which is called reality in which she currently – like the rest of us – resides. As soon as she drops the pin, she is back in the real world. And there you have it.
Somewhere down the line this girl (very well acted by fresh face Britt Robertson) connects with George Clooney – who’s still a grace for the silver screen – and he knows a heck of a lot more about the pin and the strange world connected to it. Thus he begins to explain a few things. But mind you: a few things quickly becomes a long and dreary Q&A (Question & Answers) that – although we are treated to some pretty wonderfully looking action scenes along the way – drags out over the course of more than an hour. That’s right, more than an hour after the girl meets up with George Clooney, she is still asking questions about the who and the what.
And actually, thank God for that, because we – the audience – still don’t know exactly what to make of all of this. It’s not so much confusing as it’s vague and unclear what is what …
And when Hugh Laurie makes his appearance in the other world, you’d think we were through with strange nonsense talking, but no! There is more bla-bla-bla to be had!
Now it’s Hugh Laurie‘s turn to do some explaining of his own, especially why the other world was built. And although the man is a very good actor and has that deliciously eloquent British accent, his monologue is about as boring as the one we were fed of the Architect in the second Matrix-movie. Speaking of which, The Matrix didn’t need two hours to explain its own universe and that universe was far more complex than the one in Tomorrowland. Perhaps that’s the difference between a true classic and a nice little pet project.
Also, why do the bad guys in this movie look suspiciously like the Agents from The Matrix? Or perhaps they’re more from Men in Black? There’s also a girl in this movie who could’ve easily been the daughter of one of the Terminators in … err … any of the Terminator-movies (provided Terminators could make babies).
As original as the story might be, there is 0% character development. The people behind this movie must’ve thought: “Why not take bits and pieces of other great science-fiction movies?”
Does this mean that Tomorrowland is bad? Or boring? Or stupid? No, far from it. It’s quite entertaining, especially in the first hour. It’s just that the train which is called Disney Project T loses track and tends to go off-rail. Things would’ve been far more entertaining if the movie had immediately introduced us to the rules of this mysterious other world. Instead, we only get slices of greatness, but the overwhelming storyline gets in the way of the WOW-factor of the movie and its astonishing visuals.
In short: some movies are better off with a much simpler outline instead of trying to focus on some deeper storyline …
I just wonder how young teenagers and children will approach this movie. I bet the special effects are tantalizing to look at, but everything else is just so weird and confusing.
Why couldn’t they make this movie more like the great rides in the Disney World Theme Park? Just make it simple to understand yet entertaining all the way. Or as George Clooney says in the movie: “Why can’t you just stare in awe instead of asking questions?”
did you know?
In Europe, Disney had to change the name from Tomorrowland to Disney Project T because the name is a registered brand of the electronic music festival Tomorrowland.
Give it to me straight:
Tomorrowland (or Disney Project T – whatever you want to call it!) is a daring project to say the least. The story is quite something else, but unfortunately we never get the opportunity to enjoy it to its fullest, because the amount of explaining needed to be done before we get to enjoy it for the great thrill-ride that it is, takes up sooo much time that – by the time the thrill-ride begins – you’ve already sunken deep into your arm chair like a lazy Homer Simpson (we’re not just making the reference to The Simpsons because director Brad Bird has directed a few episodes … it’s accidental).
Truth be told, Tomorrowland could’ve easily benefited from a far simpler outline. Show a new world, tell the audience about it in a few lines and let the fun begin! But no, Tomorrowland wants to be intelligent and something new, but unfortunately it’s just too complex for its own good. The greatness of the originality of the story gets lost in all those plot changes (or perhaps plot holes) and you stop caring about the characters long before they stop asking/answering questions.
Also the bad guys look like they’ve already played a part in one of the Matrix- or Men in Black-movies. And the heroic girl who can’t get hurt is a straight-copy of the Terminator-robots of said movie.
With less talking and much more walking, this could’ve easily been the surprise science-fiction hit of the year! Instead, the only surprise is how much stupid bla-bla-bla there is. I wonder who actually wrote the script. That person must’ve suffered a wrist injury from writing so much nonsense … ouch!