Tomorrow Land: A World Beyond, directed by Brad Bird is a fun film (get ready to hear the word fun used a lot during this review) that harkens back to the enjoyable family films that don’t really exist today, but is one that also benefits from the modern day betterments of film making. An inspiring film for kids and a poignant look upon the state of our world today, all make for a film that offers more than it first perceives to.
The story of Tomorrowland follows a young girl called Casey Newton who is played by Britt Robertson. She embarks upon a journey with her companions, Frank Walker, played by George Clooney and Athena, played by Raffey Cassidy whom all seek to get to the magical world of Tomorrowland, and save the world from what seems to be its inevitable destruction.
Tomorrowland’s story is a fun (there’s that word again) and interesting one. With the subject it deals with, it does of course come lumped with some noticeable and tedious exposition filled scenes (something that, if you’ve ever read one of my reviews before, you’ll know I don’t have the patience for). Despite that, the film offers something that is easily follow-able and intriguing to learn more about.
What helps to sell the plot though, is its characters. On their own, the main cast of characters are pretty plane and by the books, but together, the chemistry and the jovial back and forth, help propel and keep you engaged more than enough with the world of Tomorrowland.
The main character of the film, Casey Newton, is nothing that hasn’t been seen before, but it’s the strong performance and the believable writing behind her, that make her such a successful character to follow. Britt Robertson as an actress is someone who I’m completely unfamiliar with, but she delivers some completely on point work, work that meant I had no trouble investing in her as the lead of this film. It’ll certainly be interesting to see what she offers in films to come.
As you’d expect, George Clooney is as reliable as always. He gives the kind of performance that you’d expect from him, and though he doesn’t step out of his comfort zone (at this point in his career though, why would he) but he still delivers a respectable and enjoyable effort throughout.
I was however slightly let down by Hugh Laurie, not because of him, himself, but because his character, David Nix, is so underwritten and given so little to offer in the way of a relatable or convincing villain, that he quickly becomes an afterthought within the overall scope of the film. Despite a single moment in which he delivers an emotional and very honest monologue about not only the world within the film, but also the real world today, ther isn’t much else in the way of a comprehensive villain.
I want to finish up by commenting on just how wonderful of a director Brad Bird is. This is a man who started with some of the best animated films of this generation, ‘The Incredibles’ and ‘The Iron Giant’, and has now moved onto helming some fun and exciting live action films. The way in which he structures a shot, the vast and different worlds he creates, make him a director who will hopefully continue to give great films for long to come. What is perhaps most noticeable, when Tomorrowland is considered, is how much this film reminds me of the type of family films that use to be offered to audiences. The wide eyed wonderment, the spectacle, the hope for something better, Tomorrowland is a film full of heart and imagination, and I loved it for that.
I am more than happy to recommend Tomorrowland. A film that has something to say (though perhaps a little heavy headedly) it is still a film to watch and enjoy, more than that, this is a film that any parent should be excited to take their children too; this is a film that is perfectly constructed for them.