A magical world awaits
Tomorrowland starts brightly but slowly fizzles out for a second half that disappointingly changes the tone of the film. When this sci-fi thriller isn’t taking itself too seriously, its a fun ride but as the third act rolls round, Tomorrowland ditches its fun for a serious message about globalisation that juxtaposes horribly with the rest of the film.
The story revolves around teenager Casey (Brittany Robertson) who finds a ring that transports her to a strange futuristic place called Tomorrowland. As she begins to investigate further, shes led on a dangerous journey with Frank (George Clooney) to discover just what Tomorrowland is and what secrets it holds within. The script stays relatively lighthearted throughout, with the cliched “teenage girl saving the world” dominating the narrative. Normally this would be fine but the final third of the film changes, taking on a more serious tone. It doesn’t fit with the rest of the story and unfortunately is jarring for what’s a relatively fun flick that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
The acting is good too, delivering their lines well with a decent cast to back it up. George Clooney is excellent here and stands out as the troubled boy-genius; his childish tendencies trickling through his adult persona really help to make him more believable. Its just a shame that its all let down slightly by the script. With a better final third, Tomorrowland may well be more memorable than it actually is. It feels convoluted and unnecessarily serious when something more over the top and silly would have been a better choice.
Plot and script issues aside, there’s no denying that Tomorrowland manages to build just the right level of intrigue to keep you watching until the end. The special effect are particularly impressive with the stand out moments featuring Casey shifting back and forth to Tomorrowland and the real world. The futuristic city is really well rendered with a great draw distance and boasting realistic smoke effects as a jet pack whizzes overhead and flies off into the distance. You really get a feel for the scope as the towers dwarf Casey as she stands at ground level looking up. There’s moments like this prevalent throughout the film but they’re especially poignant at the beginning when you first learn about the city.
Overall then, Tomorrowland is a bit of a mixed bag. The special effects are good and the cast do a pretty good job, with George Clooney the stand out. Aside from the cliched teen saves the world plot-line, Tomorrowland suffers from a seismic tone shift toward the latter half of the film that upsets the balance of the picture. Its a fun ride while it lasts and most of the script work is good. A magical world may well await but whether the final third of the film makes the wait worth it, I’ll leave up to you.