Hello June, and hello the official start to Summer Blockbuster Season (which kind of started when Age of Ultron came out, but now it’s actually summer, so… yeah). The next three months are positively filled to the brim with blockbusters, and first up is… well, one that’s not been doing too well at the box office, to be honest.
George Clooney and Britt Robertson fight for the future of the world… by trying to find another world which possibly may not actually exist. Disney goes sort of hard sci-fi (kind of) in Tomorrowland: A World Beyond.
Tomorrowland: A World Beyond
Directed by: Brad Bird
Written and produced by: Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof
Starring: Britt Robertson, George Clooney, Raffey Cassidy, Hugh Laurie, Tim McGraw and others.
Runtime: 130 minutes
Optimistic, tech-savvy teenager Casey (Robertson), the daughter of a soon-to-be-unemployed NASA engineer at Cape Canaveral, is making a habit of sneaking into the decommissioned launch pad where her father works and sabotaging the machines helping to dismantle it.
One evening, her luck runs out and she’s arrested but soon bailed out. When she goes to collect her possessions, she finds a mysterious pin which, when touched, seemingly transports her to another world.
Determined to know what it means, she crosses the path of a grizzled inventor named Frank (Clooney), a man with what turns out to be a very intimate knowledge of this other world. Together with Frank, and the person who brought them together (a young girl named Athena, played by a brilliantly eerie Raffey Cassidy), they set out to get back to Tomorrowland – and save the future of the planet while they’re at it.
So… good film?
Tomorrowland, or Tomorrowland: A World Beyond as it’s known in the UK, has been on the cards for sometime now. It started life as a project called 1952 (which was what was printed on the frayed cardboard box supposedly uncovered from the Walt Disney imagineering developmental unit, seen in a picture posted on Twitter by Brad Bird) before changing its title to the name of the futuristic themed land found at Disney theme parks.
What the plot revolved around was anyone’s guess though, and even in the run-up to the release secrecy surrounded the film.
The final product is a mixture of great ideas, solid performances and a definite social message that keeps up during the running time. A lot. I mean, it couldn’t be more obvious what they are trying to tell you, especially because there’s one point in the film where they actually tell you what the message is. Combined with a few scientific ideas that may be a bit hard for younger kids to get and a longer running time than on your average Disney film, it’s not hard to see why Tomorrowland is struggling at the box office.
But give it a chance. Sure, it’s not perfect – the storytelling wobbles more than once, and once the big twist is revealed you can kind of place bets on where it’s going – but it’s made with plenty of heart and soul. And, considering it’s a 12A, maybe this is the perfect chance to get your older kids to the cinema and maybe get them as jazzed about science (and perhaps the world as a whole) as Casey is.
Get tickets for Tomorrowland: A World Beyond at Cineworld – watch the trailer below