M FILM – A trip to Tomorrowland

Visually inspired by the various futuristic Disneyland park rides of the same name, glossy Tomorrowland is decidedly Spielbergian

Brad Bird is a brilliant and playful director, whether he’s telling the anti-militarist tale of a boy and his huge alien robot (Iron Giant) or confecting a delicious whimsy about a rat with dreams of being a chef (Ratatouille). The double Oscar winner blasts off into imaginative and visually extravagant sci-fi realms in Tomorrowland, where strange memories of a futuristic alternate Earth are the key to our planet’s survival.

Britt Robertson stars as Casey Newton, the rebellious teenage daughter of a NASA engineer whose mix of scientific curiosity and endless optimism have brought her to the attention of a mysterious girl named Athena, who slips her an old badge from the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Whenever Casey touches the badge she briefly gets transported to a fantastical world of flying cars and space-age buildings. But the magical visions soon fade, and Casey finds herself on the run from smiley-faced humanoid robots that want to kill her.

Eventually paired up with an embittered and reclusive inventor (George Clooney) who knows a lot more than he is willing to admit to, the mismatched pair undertakes a spectacular journey through a mysterious portal that exists outside the usual constructs of time and space. Suddenly catapulted into a very real Tomorrowland, they must come to grips with past events in order to survive their deadly confrontation with the suave but despotic ruler (Hugh Laurie) of this exotic realm.

Visually inspired by the various futuristic Disneyland park rides of the same name, glossy Tomorrowland is decidedly Spielbergian in its candy-coloured sheen, wholesomeness, and sentimentality. The storyline is clever and well paced, while strong performances give an affecting emotional realism to many scenes. But above all, this is a movie with a message.

Through Casey’s eyes we see a planet under assault from extreme weather events, political chaos, and other grave threats. And like Casey, we are meant to be inspired to rise to these challenges with fearless hearts. To call this naive is an understatement, even though the movie itself impresses on many levels. But in a multiplex throbbing with the amped-up distractions of The Avengers and Mad Max, Tomorrowland is a blockbuster with no obvious target audience. It is well made and deserves to be seen. But how many people will queue up to take this spectacular ride?

Tomorrowland ***

Stars George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie

Directed by Brad Bird

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Celebrate Victoria Pride Week

The Victoria Pride Society has organized some stop-notch virtual entertainment, including the Virtual Pride Festival on July 5.

Children’s author honours Oak Bay sisters murdered by father

Proceeds from children’s book go towards child abuse prevention in Greater Victoria

Sidney Museum and Archives reopens brick by brick with Lego exhibit

Museum joins other reopenings including Sidney library, Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea

Vancouver Island Symphony, Kerplunks up for Western Canadian Music Awards

Winners to be announced via live stream on Sept. 25

10th annual Nanaimo Fringe Festival to be held online due to COVID-19

Festival will feature six productions by local, regional and international artists

Nanaimo’s Kismet Theatre Academy closes after eight years due to COVID-19

Bonnie Catterson founded the school in 2012 as ‘a place for the oddballs’

Home dance videos to be part of this year’s Infringing Dance Festival

Crimson Coast Dance Society seeking ‘backyard dance’ submissions to compile into video

Ucluelet loses one of town’s oldest art galleries

Mark Penney Gallery shuts down due, in part, to Hwy. 4 closures and COVID-19 pandemic.

Vancouver Island drummers pay belated tribute to Neil Peart of Rush

Canadian Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer died of cancer at age 67 in January

Yukon poet kjmunro headlines Port Alberni’s virtual Words on Fire

Monthly spoken word event continues virtually at Char’s Landing

Most Read