(out of 5)
A young boy brimming over with enthusiasm for science shows up at the 1964 New York World’s Fair with his invention, a jetpack. He meets with resistance from the festival organizers but wins over a precocious little girl, who gives him a mysterious pin which turns out to be an invitation to a place where technology has achieved wild dreams and his ingenuity can be put to good use. Forty years later, a bright but unruly girl (Britt Robertson) gets out of prison after trying to stop the decommissioning of a NASA project, mysteriously meeting the same girl who is mysteriously the same age and gives her the same invitation to “Tomorrowland”. In her efforts to find this place that she has only glimpsed (in a sequence that is far more elaborate than necessary in this top-heavy disaster), Robertson discovers the whereabouts of the now grown-up boy (played in adulthood by George Clooney) and they outrun some evil robots as they journey towards their destiny and realize their potential for saving the earth from environmental doom. A positive message, soft enough violence that you won’t have to worry too much about the kids, appealing performances and pretty (if often subpar) visual effects: what more could you want? For starters, how about coherent plotting and some reasonable stakes? Most of the time it’s impossible to understand what’s going on and where the story is going, the dialogue gibberish and the preaching painfully trite. Clooney and Robertson are always upset and shouting but despite all the noisy action sequences, nothing really happens in this turkey, a waste of a great opportunity to have young women leading a blockbuster adventure film, while the retro-future Epcot Centre look is not capitalized on nearly enough.
Directed by Brad Bird
Cinematography by Claudio Miranda
Produced by Brad Bird, Jeffrey Chernov, Damon Lindelof
Music by Michael Giacchino
Production Design by Scott Chambliss
Costume Design by Jeffrey Kurland