Cocktails And Movies Review: “Tomorrowland” – The Future That Never Was Explodes In Technicolor Delight

by Mike Reyes

Brad Bird strikes again, as geeks and kids alike will go nuts over this sci-i adventure!

Walt Disney was a man who had a stereotypical vision of a utopic future. A world where peace and harmony reigned, humanity wasn’t scrapping with itself over the resources, technology that would be available to all, and a world where imagination was as important as commerce. Tomorrowland was that vision, and it stands in the Disney theme parks as a constant reminder that, as the song says, “There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day!” Sadly, Walt’s vision was never truly fulfilled in the real world, and as our culture has moved forward it’s taken a more cynical approach to its reality as well as its fiction. Still, there are dreamers out there who believe we could be doing better, and Brad Bird (The Incredibles) has always clearly been one of them. Only a wide eyed dreamer could create a film like Tomorrowland, and only Bird could make it soar.

Casey Newton (Britt Robertson, The Longest Yard) longs for a world where the optimistic futurism of the past still reigns supreme, and she may have found a way to bring it back. Thanks to a mysterious pin she’s been given by an stranger, she’s transported to another place and possibly another time. Rockets are mass transit vehicles, jet packs exist for recreation, and dreamers are not only welcomed – they’re sought after. With the help of a young girl who isn’t who she seems (Raffey Cassidy, Dark Shadows,) and a man who knows the place from his youth (George Clooney, The Monuments Men), Casey might be able to live in the world of tomorrow, if she can save it from its greatest opposition (Hugh Laurie, House, M.D) today.maxresdefault

To love Tomorrowland is to know exactly what sort of animal this flick is, and once you’ve truly dug in it’s not hard to identify what’s going on. This film is part love letter to retro future science fiction, part tribute to Walt Disney and his vision for tomorrow, and an all encompassing message that the future truly is what we make of it. Brad Bird and co-writer Damon Lindelof (Prometheus) form this message by putting together a story that’s easy enough for children to latch onto, but presented in a way that adults can enjoy. The resulting product is something that’s as colorful as it is tremendously entertaining, as Tomorrowland never forgets to add some adventure to the lessons on display.

Robertson, who was also stellar in this year’s Nicholas Sparks outing, The Longest Ride, is a perfect front and center lead as she brings Casey’s futuristic curiosity to life alongside Cassidy’s Athena, a robot sent to recruit and protect Casey in her journey to the titular Tomorrowland. Both young women command the screen with their performances, and more than pull their weight against heavyweights like Clooney and Laurie, who also manage to steal some moments of screen time for themselves. But perhaps the best part of Tomorrowland’s finished product is the fact that the story is so much different from any film we’ve seen of this ilk.

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Tomorrowland not only has a female lead driven story, it also manages to have an ultimate villain that kind of makes sense. While David Nix’s methodology isn’t the best in the world, his reasoning certainly isn’t all that difficult to follow and for a moment you could actually find yourself agreeing with him. With a villain that well spoken, and a third act conclusion that’s actually light on anything you’d call violence, Tomorrowland is a summer blockbuster that everyone can still mull over long after the spectacle has died down.

With a whip smart script, some amazing visuals and a Michael Giacchino score that promises as much excitement as any of the images in this film could convey, Tomorrowland truly is the whole package. Not only is Brad Bird’s latest effort one of the best films of this year so far, but its overall message might make it the most important film we’ve seen in a good long while. It also helps that a film with such a deep and resonating message is this exciting to watch, and should continue to keep Bird in the good graces of Disney for some time to come. So if your kids are begging you to take them to Tomorrowland, don’t hesitate to say yes. Their minds will be better off because of it, and you’ll find yourself sitting next to them on the front porch, waiting for your pins to arrive any day now.

My Rating: 5/5