Friday, May 22, 2015

Tomorrowland Review: An Ambitious Yet Creatvie Sci-fi Adventure

Disney just loves to make every aspect to their disposal into a movie. While the studio is known for their animated features, they do have a tendency to make theme park rides/attractions into films. While that may seem strange, the concept of Disney Rides being turned into movies has been successful thanks to the likes of Pirates of the Caribbean. However rather than setting sails this time, the latest ride to hit the silver screen comes in the form of Tomorrowland. What has been a futuristic ride at Disney is now a summer blockbuster directed by the man behind The Incredibles: Brad Bird. There has been a lot of mystery behind this project which has only raised the excitement for the film. Plus Brad Bird’s involvement only raises the anticipation for the sci-fi film. However, though Brad Bird has seen success with Disney in the past, is Tomorrowland another hit for the director or was this sci-fi film just remain a Disney attraction?

Tomorrowland follows a young girl named Cassie Newton (Brit Robertson). After being caught sabotaging a NASA station, Cassie finds a mysterious pin. The pin shows Cassie visions of a futuristic city called Tomorrowland where the best and brightest people use their gifts to change the world. Her discovery of this place city finds Cassie in trouble as she pursued by androids determine to stop her from finding Tomorrowland. Cassie’s only chance to reach Tomorrowland is seeking the help of Frank Walker (George Clooney) and together the two set off to fix the high tech city; not to mention save the world.

While I enjoyed the plot to Tomorrowland, I cannot deny that this factor was the film’s greatest weakness. When it came down to it, there was just not much to the film’s story. Having a simple plot is never a bad thing as long as it is executed in the right way; but unfortunately Tomorrowland’s execution could have used some tweaking. The biggest issue in the story were the themes and how these world changing elements came off as either underwhelming or just standard. Yet while some factors were lackluster, there were good things to the story of Tomorrowland. The most notable highlight to this sci-fi plot was its sense of adventure. While it could have used some complexity, there was no denying that Tomorrowland’s plot was exciting to sit through.

While the story was lacking in areas, the cast thankfully was able to pick up the film’s slack. While there were no hat-tipping performances, the cast was indeed solid. Brit Robertson made for an enjoyable lead as Cassie. While her development was fairly straightforward, the young heroine was still a character that I could get behind. What surprised me was George Clooney’s role as Frank Walker. From watching the trailer to film, it did not seem that Frank would be a supporting character; but it turns out that he was. This was by no means a bad things as Frank worked well with Cassie’s character, and George was able to bring his usual charm to the role. Another surprise in the cast was Raffie Cassidy as Athena. Raffie’s performance as the Tomorrowland recruiter was forthcoming as she was able to match energies with her older castmates. Hugh Laurie did not contribute much as Governor David Nix, but the actor managed to be convincing even with his short screentime.

If there was one that this blockbuster delivered in it had to be its effects as well as its overall spectacle. The effects to Tomorrowland was both fantastic and creative. The effects certainly fit the sci-fi tone to the film; while Brad Bird’s imaginative direction allowed the spectacle to really shine through. The score from Michael Giacchino was also to be commended. The music to Tomorrowland felt similar to that of Star War as the score was bombastic as well as energetic. This concept to the film’s sound was certainly fitting as it capture the adventurous as well as science fiction tones that made Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland may not be Brad Bird’s best work, but it was still an enjoyable blockbuster. Though its story was lacking, the film still strives in other areas such as acting and effects. In the end this sci-fi film may have been too simple, but Tomorrowland was still an adventure that was fun as it was creative.  

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