"Do I Have to Explain Everything to You? Can't You Just be Amazed and Move On?"
It feels, in retrospect, like the director and the writer fighting with each other, or even the writer fighting with himself. And it’s a good, distilled example of every problem with this film.
On the one hand, “Tomorrowland” feels different than a lot of Disney’s films. Although it’s obviously aimed at younger children, the only things about it that would support that are the whimsical bits of dialogue that get tossed about every once in a while, as well as the odd scatological joke. The character building, for example, is varied and more mature than I’m used to seeing from what’s ultimately a product being sold to me. There’s a girl genius with a NASA engineer for a father (mom’s missing of course) who starts her story arc with committing a federal crime, a British android who has spent the past fifty years looking like she’s twelve years old, and an embittered, exiled scientist who has determined the exact day that Armageddon will hit. These are great ingredients for a good story, the actors who inhabit these roles are skilled, and the world they inhabit is lush and exciting…when we get to see it in its full scope. But the film doesn’t know how to utilize the good things it’s got going for it, and herein lies the problem.
“Tomorrowland”, to continue the metaphor, is the product of a creative chef working with fresh ingredients and an Easy-Bake Oven. It doesn’t matter how well Brad Bird shoots a scene if ultimately there is nothing happening during the course of it. I cannot stress this enough; I cannot describe the plot of “Tomorrowland” because I am convinced it does not exist. This is made worse by the heavy, moralizing arguments that the film is trying to be about. The characters are trying to save the world, but they never adequately explain what they’re saving it from, or how they’re going to do it in great specifics. THIS is made worse by the fact that the characters are self-aware; several lines of dialogue are tongue-in-cheek quips about the vagueness of the plot and the fact that nobody knows what they’re doing, and there’s no excuse for that. If they had time to design the world and time to choreograph all the action scenes they stuffed in, they had time to write a decent script. All I can believe is that they thought they could get away with the film not actually saying anything of value, which is just too shitty for me to accept.
Some moments are truly beautiful, though. I wish I didn’t have to sit through nonsense to see them.
Something future-y. Hugh Laurie's character talks about drinking a shake that prevents him from aging, so maybe pour some vodka in your chia-seed smoothie.
-Drink when something breaks
-Drink when a character actually GOES to Tomorrowland.
-Drink when a cool piece of technology is used
-Drink when a character enters a transport vehicle
-Drink when Disney flaunts its use of copywright. They pull out the "Star Wars" theme about halfway through, and I swear I could hear the sound designer gloating.
This review was written by Hollis Beck (Krissy Pappau). "Tomorrowland" was produced and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. The film is rated "PG" with a run time of 130 minutes.