NetGuide NZ - Film review: Tomorrowland

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Film review: Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland is a Hollywood original decked out with parallel universes, kids flying jet packs, grumpy George Clooney, headless robots, and Hugh Laurie on an island… Sounds great right? Wrong.

This movie had a lot of potential and yet it floundered and failed.

I was told Tomorrowland would take me somewhere completely unexpected, but it didn’t take me anywhere much at all.

It could have been uplifting, exciting, expansive, but instead it was boring, tiring and unnecessarily confusing.

Basically, the film follows a young girl named Casey, played by Britt Robertson, and the former boy genius Frank Walker, played by George Clooney.

Casey and Frank cross paths and make it their mission to get to Tomorrowland, the futuristic world, where they have the opportunity to better Earth as we know it.

The narration starts off rocky and doesn’t get much better. It meanders around, seemingly directionless, and doesn’t do a very good job of drawing you in.

Instead of getting lost in it, I thought about a million other things.

I thought about how weird George Clooney’s nose looked up close, if I’d die from eating my weight in popcorn, how terrible Casey’s pants were, (they looked like she’d had them since she was 11. This movie cost $190 million to make. DO YOU SEE THE DISPARITY?)

I imagined the world ravaged by dinosaurs, George Clooney coming out as an alien, George Clooney coming out as a woman, the back-stories of all of the harmless people who were vaporised by grinning robots.

It wasn’t just that it was dull; there were so many details that rubbed me up the wrong way.

Like the fact the inhabitants of Tomorrowland had to be handpicked out of the squalor of Earth and taken to a parallel universe in order to actually invent anything.

And in this world, where they wanted for nothing and had resources coming out of their ears, they created technologies and designs that didn’t actually solve anything for the people back on Earth.

There was also the fact that the entire movie was trying to inspire and delight the senses, but spent most of its time talking about how doomed everything was.

And this one girl, guided by her too-clever-for-his-own-good-and-ultimately-jaded mentor, held the key to change everything by simply being herself, in her awful, awful pants.

Make it all the way to the end and you’re confronted by an overwrought monologue wrapped in a moral from the resident baddie, witness one or two explosions, see George Clooney shed a single tear, and we’re back to where we started.

It didn’t help that I didn’t care about any of the characters, and when they cried or loved, failed or triumphed, I had to suppress my laughter and smother my callousness with another fistful of popcorn.

Even the fact that’s it an original doesn’t always hold up - it borrows tips, tricks and gimmicks from a range of other movies so at times it feels like a half-baked, haphazard version of something you’ve seen before.

Watching Tomorrowland is like wanting a chocolate chip cookie but getting a piece of cardboard with a happy face drawn on it instead: confusing, difficult to swallow, unsatisfying, and a bit annoying.


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