Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland is a 2015 American science-fiction mystery adventure (fantasy too I guess) film from Walt Disney films directed by Brad Bird, and co-written and produced by Bird and Damon Lindelof. The film stars George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Britt Robertson, and Raffey Cassidy. The film has all the characteristics of a Disney film in trying too much sugary sweet humour and science fiction that borders on goofy gimmicks seen in cartoons.

So back in 1964, young Frank Walker ( a mere boy of 11 years old) attends the New York World’s Fair all alone – no parents or guardians with him – and shows his home made jet pack to a panel of judges. David Nix, the head judge is unimpressed as the jet doesn’t work all the time but he draws the attention of a young girl named Athena. Seeing his potential, Athena gives Frank a pin embossed with a “T” symbol and tells him to follow her aboard the fair’s “It’s a Small World” attraction. Frank sneaks onto the ride, where his pin is scanned and he is transported into a futuristic cityscape known as Tomorrowland. He falls from a ledge, straps on his jet pack, and lands safely before Nix and Athena.

We then meet Casey Newton in 2015 who sabotages the machines that are dismantling the NASA launch pad where her dad works as an engineer, so he can continue with the job he loves for longer. Athena follows her and leaves another pin that is programmed to Casey’s DNA into Casey’s motorcycle helmet. The next night, Casey attempts to break into the NASA compound again, but is arrested. At the police station, she discovers the pin among her personal items. Casey discovers that upon contact, the pin instantly shows her a view of Tomorrowland. She briefly explores the vision until the pin’s battery runs out. Casey, with the help of her younger brother, tracks the pin’s origin to a memorabilia store but upon meeting the two owners, Hugo and Ursula, Casey is inquired about it, and when she reveals to know nothing else about it, they attack her. Athena bursts in and fights Hugo and Ursula, who are both revealed to be robots. The two girls escape as the robots self-destruct, destroying the store. After stealing a car, Athena reveals that she is an Audio-Animatronic robot, and the one who gave Casey the pin, revealing that she needs her help to save the world.

Athena leaves Casey at a now middle aged Frank’s home – a now disillusioned Frank who was exiled from Tomorrowland after he lost all hope on learning about a catastrophe that will befall earth around the year 2015 – and explores the technology of the devices he has invented. While the two argue, a group of robots disguised as United States Secret Service agents storms the house with intent to kill them. After evading the robots and reuniting with Athena, the trio uses a teleportation machine that Frank invented, jumping to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. They enter a room with mannequins of Gustave Eiffel, Jules Verne, Nikola Tesla, and Thomas Edison. Frank explains that the four men were the founders of Plus Ultra, a group of inventors dedicated to finding other dreamers and inventors who shared the hope of shaping a better future, which eventually led them to discover a new dimension where Tomorrowland was founded. However, after using a steampunk era rocket to get them to this Tomorrowland, they find it to be a desolate place. Nix shows up to greet them, and takes them to a building linked to a tachyon machine designed by Frank himself that can show images from the past and future, where Casey learns that a worldwide catastrophe will happen in the near future.

Casey does not accept that the world is destined to end, and the future slightly changes as a result, a fact that Frank glimpses, but Nix ignores and orders them arrested instead. As they await being sent back to Earth, Casey realizes that as a side effect of the device utilizing tachyons to obtain information about the future, it introduces a backfeed into their flow, thus making the future it shows all the more likely, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy; therefore, destroying the device can avert the apocalypse. Nix opens a portal to a beach, inviting them to live out the last days there, but Frank resists upon knowing that Nix had given up on Earth and intends to allow the apocalypse to happen. A fight ensues and Frank tries to use a bomb to blow up the machine. Mistakenly, the bomb goes off outside the portal and the explosion pins Nix’s leg under debris. Nix retrieves a plasma gun and aims at Frank. Athena, who was able to see it happening beforehand due to the tachyons, jumps in front of him and is shot beyond repair; that activates her self-destruct sequence. In her last moments of consciousness, Athena instructs Frank to take her to the machine and reveals that she loved him. Her self-destruction takes down the machine and kills Nix as well.

As the movie ends Frank and Casey’s audience revealed to be androids like Athena, who are entrusted with new pins and instructed to bring other “dreamers” to Tomorrowland and improve the world for the better. Ok, sappy, messy, boring in places, technology that looks like some goofy 70s style cartoonish idea of what the future will look like and no characterization or proper story telling at all. The special effects and visuals are good but you don’t find yourself excited by the movie or inspired. It’s just silly. 6 outta 10!

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