Tomorrowland Movie Review
Tomorrowland is a 2015 science fiction fantasy movie directed by always good Brad Bird and starring Britt Robertson and George Clooney. It is one of the most underrated movies in recent memory.
It follows a man genius and a smart young girl who along with the assistance of a robot girl travel to a beautiful land named Tomorrowland where they must learn how to save their own world. At first glance, it is nothing original, you have the fantasy land and a dying real world that needs to be saved. However, that fantasy world is highly authentic in its style and look. The movie is incredibly imaginative, filled with fine detail and it is always enchanting and fueled with a sense of wonder and excitement. Another authentic thing about it is its interesting mix of science fiction and fantasy which was really fascinating to see. Some would say it isn’t fantasy, but it really is when you think about it. It is science fiction because of all the technology and gadgetry, but it’s fantasy because it is enchanting, it has a whole new world with magical properties and the approach with humor and characters all fit into fantasy tropes.
Speaking of humor, it is absolutely superb! I was really caught by surprise how hilarious the movie can be. There were times when I was laughing out loud and that rarely happens for me. Because of great character moments, terrific performances and light-hearted spirit, Tomorrowland manages to have a bunch of really funny and immensely charming moments that really help the movie overall because nowadays that rarely happens and blockbusters are usually too dark, so this was such a refreshing change of pace for sure.
The movie has weird pacing and it is weakly edited which is probably the biggest problem here. The first act is absolutely amazing and beautiful with a wonderful introduction to this world and characters. However, it does feel prolonged and too much of a build-up because literally half of the movie is its first act which should not be the case. In that case, you have too action-packed second act and a really contrived ending. But that action is very well executed and entertaining and the ending is very moving thus reducing the problem a bit. And the conclusion is a bit too inspirational and happy, but I cannot understand why that is such a bad thing and why critics hated it so much. It just goes to show what cynics people are today and hypocrites as well owing to the fact that if this was animation, they would accept such an ending, while live-action cannot go that route. Evident hypocrisy on display here.
The character development is outstanding, it is incredibly good. Frank is wonderful as this exiled inventor, his bitter relationship with Casey is excellent and funny while his relationship with Athena is troublesome but beautiful. Also his backstory is intriguing with well used flashbacks for once. David Nix I was not a fan of as he was the typical bad guy whereas the robots are well realized overall. Athena is a wonderful character with such a fun personality and heartbreaking conclusion. She also adds a lot of the comedic element to the movie along with action as her action sequences are spectacular. But the protagonist is Casey and she is the highlight of the movie along with the actress, but more on that later. She is such a well realized and executed character and one of the rare instances of a likable, well developed and realistic main character. She does end up as the hero in the end in a very typical manner and a contrived way which goes against what the movie was making fun of prior to that point, but she is nevertheless a great character who is extremely funny with a great sense of humor, wonderful personality, realistic behavior and a beautiful childlike innocence to her which fits perfectly into the whole dreamer theme in the end.
Now, as I promised, the acting. It is amazing, there is no other way to say it. Raffey Cassidy is stupendous, she really gives such a great performance in a difficult role that has to shift from robotic manners to human emotion and humor, but she did a great job. Phenomenal for a child actor. George Clooney is expectedly good, he brings the realism and bitterness to the film perfectly, going against the protagonist beautifully. And it is always nice to see him in a genre film and he should do it more often as this is his first since ‘Gravity’ where he was great as well. But Britt Robertson is the reason why the whole movie works so well, she steals the show, she is the highlight here and quite simply a revelation. She gives such a natural and realistic performance but with a lot of depth and charisma as well. And she is simply hilarious, delivering her funny lines perfectly. I hope she is going to have a big career because she really deserves it for such an amazing job she’s done here. This is a huge talent at display here and I really hope Hollywood will take notice.
Technically, this is a beautiful to look at film. The visual effects are breathtaking creating this whole world perfectly. The world-building is fantastic as is the imagination of course. The sound editing is very good as well. And the originality is evident with an authentic world created here and a great mix of genres and humor. The action is overwhelming but is executed in a great way leading to a very engaging and entertaining movie. The pacing is way too fast and the editing is weird, but the direction from Brad Bird is of course great and the dialogue is quite good for the genre with thankfully a lack of cheesy one-liners. And the emotional investment is evident with a very warm and wonderful ending.
With amazing world-building, breathtaking special effects, beautiful imagination and originality, great mix of science fiction and fantasy, entertaining action sequences and phenomenal humor, Tomorrowland has its problems including too fast pacing, weird editing, very contrived ending and overwhelming action, but it is mostly a blast to watch, an enchanting and charming trip with very likable characters and beautiful story, but above all fantastic performances across the board with Britt Robertson being a revelation how good she is and of course the terrific humor with many hilarious scenes which was really refreshing, creating the light-hearted tone in the process. It just goes to show how cynical today’s critics and audiences are when they found the ending and message too inspirational and also hypocritical because in animation that inspirational approach is allowed but not in live-action.
Tomorrowland a beautiful and above all original movie for once and one of the most underrated films in recent memory for sure.
The critics made a huge mistake here and if you like this genre, trust your instincts and go see it because you most likely won’t be disappointed.