“Tomorrowland” is yesterday’s news

By: Nick Salacki, Staff Writer

If there’s one film I can associate with the filmmaker Brad Bird it’s definitely “The Incredibles.” Didn’t we all love that movie? I know I did.

So when I heard about his latest flick “Tomorrowland,” I watched the first trailer and was excited because the trailer made this movie seem like a great next film for Bird. Compared to “The Incredibles,” “Tomorrowland” takes the place of Bird’s experimentation with live-action superheroes.

I thought this is what the film was about, yet I was far from right.

 “Tomorrowland” is Bird’s latest film but his second take on live-action stories, after the surprisingly successful “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol”. In “Tomorrowland,” we meet Frank Walker (the handsome and mature George Clooney) who attended New York’s 1964 World’s Fair in the hopes of contributing his state-of-the-art jet pack as his invention.

At 11-years-old, Frank was turned away, but saved, by a young Athena (Raffey Cassidy) when, through a magic lapel pin, she recruited him and gave him access to a special new place in a new dimension, Tomorrowland.

But during his time there, something that Frank invents results in his exile from the land. Now, what seems like a decade or two from present day, Athena recruits teen Casey Newton (“The Longest Ride’s” Britt Robertson) as the last resort to “fix the world” before it dies out from accurately predicted natural disasters.

The entire time I was watching, I was confused by what this film was supposed to actually be. I wondered what type of filmmaking Bird was trying to show us, and what he was really trying to say.

One deep aspect I can comprehend is that this film is a futurist adventure flick with a team of three on a conquest. They might not get along, there may be some tension, but deep down there is love and friendship. There’s this, plus it’s also made by Disney.

Another deep aspect I noticed was that this could be a call-to-action of ecological proportions. While Bird is telling us that Earth’s future natural disasters are inevitable, he is also calling for Earth’s smartest, most creative, and most talented humans to contribute to making the world a better and more ecologically stable place to live.

Other than the fact that this may be somewhat of a new, unique story, there’s not much that is special or exciting. The world of Tomorrowland, and the thousands of new gadgets that aren’t even laid out in detail, is just a skeptical of what Bird and Lost’s Damon Lindelof thought our future could actually look like.

It felt like the story line was running like a roller coaster; high tension, low tension. Except when the low tension came, it stuck for too long and became boring, fast.

There’s nothing that incredible about this seemingly exciting Bird film, I wouldn’t see it again. But if you already saw “Mad Max”, then resort to “Tomorrowland”, at least it’s not “Poltergeist”.

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