Film Review: Tomorrowland: A World Beyond (Brad Bird, 2015) ★★★

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When a badge that transports to an alternative world falls in to her possession, Casey (Britt Robertson) goes in search of answers and, in doing so, meets an inventor and former boy-genius, Frank (George Clooney) who may help to unearth the secrets of Tomorrowland. 

Tomorrowland was originally created by Walt Disney in 1955 as an attraction within his theme parks - a segment created to represent a futuristic land of possibility and potential. It was said that Disney originally planned to build underneath it and create an underground expansion but construction was never started.
Based on this Disneyland attraction, Brad Bird returns as director in yet another big Disney blockbuster. Stepping down as director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Bird instead decided to make Tomorrowland, his new masterpiece. In true Bird style and taking inspiration from Disney's optimistic future, Bird has taken something which captures children's imaginations and built a plot which has no limitations. Centred around positive thinking and the power of believing, he uses that charm we've seen in Up (2009) and Ratatouille (2007) taking form in a live-action adventure.

The film opens with what appears to be a home movie by a grown-up Frank Walker, a boy genius who was filled with the wonderment of science, and Casey - a tom-boy teenager who "knows how things work". With a father who works for NASA, Casey dreams of the stars and her scientific curiosity soon finds her arrested and finds herself with a pin that transports her to another dimension and a land of future discovery.

Though a slow build to establish a backstory and introduce our two protagonists, we as an audience are treated to a spectacle of thrilling and extraordinary visual effects within witty and comical narrative. We soon learn that Casey and Frank have a lot in common and it is not long before the two development a predictable bond. Put together by a child-like Athena (a Tomorrowland recruiter), Frank has grown bitter and is reluctant to help Casey who now has what Frank lost as a child. However, upon learning that Tomorrowland is in trouble, the two put their petty squabbles aside to visit the promise-land in the hopes of saving it, unaware that it's existence also effects what happens on earth. More brilliantly, the villain of Nix (Hugh Laurie) is a fantastic asset to the film, a wonderfully British and sarcastic character who represents a deeper, more powerful plot twist.

The film has a sudden, predictable yet slightly sappy conclusion but none-the-less it is enjoyable as a whole. Tomorrowland: A World Beyond should be taken just as it is intended, to inspire and captivate a young audience and to simply entertain. In true Disney style, it is what it is though this Disney production features a far deeper and more meaningful message that has not been so heavily explored in previous Disney narratives. Though touched upon in WALL-E (2008), Bird makes a far stronger reference to negative media saturation, global warming and natural disasters and the impact this has on future generations. The film portrays a scary and, in many ways, realistic image of the future and Bird asks - "but what are we going to do about it?" through a heartfelt family film with some balls.

Though definitely not without it's faults, Tomorrowland is somewhat cringey in some scenes, the performances are barely memorable and it is certainly longer then necessary but it is ultimately watchable. As for Bird's next masterpiece, it falls slightly short in comparison to his previous works but is just as charming and witty. With little to no prior knowledge needed to enjoy the ride, take it as it intended and take home a positive message. For me, this is not the greatest of Disney films but worth a watch to see Hugh Laurie and have a few laughs. Tomorrowland: A World Beyond gets a Sophie star rating of 3 out of 5 stars.

All imagery is photographed by myself or provided to me courtesy of Disney
Thanks so much to Disney for sending my family and I to see this! I felt really privileged to attend the advanced screening at Leicester Square IMAX. It was a really nice treat for mine and my Dad's birthday! I was invited the day of returning from Disneyland, Paris and so this certainly helped to keep the Disney magic going just a little longer.
Will you be seeing Tomorrowland?  What did you think of it? Are you a fan of Clooney is such a role? As always, please let me know your thoughts and leave me lovely comments below.

Until next time movie-lovers,







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13 comments:

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    1. Yeah it's worth a see if only for Hugh Laurie being awesome. Thanks for reading hun x

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  2. I haven't seen this movie yet so thanks for doing the review, Sophie. I'm curious about Hugh Laurie's performance so I'll probably see it this weekend.

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    1. He's brilliant as always! Do let me know what you think of it :)

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    2. I thought that the strongest part of the movie was Raffey Cassidy who played Athena. She was a big scene stealer; she might be a future star. I would have preferred more scenes centered around her, the young Frank (adult Clooney) and Nix (Hugh Laurie). I did think it was funny how Star Wars was referenced where Casey goes to find out about the pin. Doing a search, I see that a life-sized Han Solo frozen in carbonite can be pre-ordered for about $7k :)

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    3. Oh really? I was unsure whether her performance was wooden because she's a robot or that's just how she is but she is very cute and no doubt going to be in a lot of things to come. Yes the comic book shop is awesome!! Loved all the merchandise! Such a shame it all blew up haha

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  3. I really want to see this! The big kid in me loves things like this!!!

    fixmeinfortyfivex.blogspot.co.uk - A Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

    xxx

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    1. Yeah definitely do! If you just want a good Disney watch, it ticks all the boxes! Let me know what you make of it! xx

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  4. I saw the advert for this and I would like to see it. I wasn't sure but sounds good thanks for reviewing it

    Aimee ox

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    1. Yeah definitely, let me know what you think of it! x

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  5. I loved this movie! George Clooney is the dream in this XD

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    1. Ah finally someone else who has seen it! Ha there's a bit more to it then Clooney but glad you liked it! x

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  6. I actually quite liked this! It's such a shame that it was such a big flop for Disney and for George Clooney! Fantastic review anyway!

    Ashley Christie x https://imamovienerd.wordpress.com/ x

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