Picoreview: Tomorrowland

Picoreview: Tomorrowland: boring.

I really wanted to like it, as it had a message I certainly support, and there were a lot of good *pieces*, but overall it failed to click.

It did not help that the opening seven or eight hours twenty minutes felt like somebody higher up at Disney had said “The audience is never going to understand this if you don’t explain it to them” and forced the director to put George Clooney on the screen talking directly to the camera, and then when that was a painful failure, put the young heroine, played by Britt Robertson, on to do the same thing with an equal amount of discomfort. So by the time the movie really got started they’d long since lost me.

And it’s too bad, because Robertson brought every ounce of enthusiasm she could to her role, and Raffey Cassidy as the young denizen of Tomorrowland was ridiculously good fun. Clooney was not at his best, being out-shone and out-written by his co-stars, but he handled a potentially very awkward storyline with a reasonable amount of grace. I think it could have been done more gracefully, but that would have required, at the least, stronger writing for his role.

For me, the biggest problem was that the stakes never felt very real. Explaining that goes into spoiler territory, so there’s more behind the cut.

One assumes Tomorrowland is our own potential future. The problem–or one of the problems–is that it’s not. It’s an alternate universe, one that Tesla and Edison and a couple of others found their way to, and started inviting the best, brightest, most creative and optimistic to come populate.

Which is lovely, in its way, but it’s an escape, not an ambition. Even our hopeful heroine who believes the future of our world can be saved, doesn’t remain in our world to save it; after saving Tomorrowland from Hugh Laurie she remains there to oversee the recruitment of new optimists, which…

…really kinda fucks our world over, IMHO. So I didn’t go away from the film feeling like anything was possible, which is what I would have hoped for. I went away feeling sort of flat and perhaps like if it had been put together better I might have come away joyful, so disappointed.

Yeah. It’s too bad.