Tomorrowland dreams big, but doesn't quite come true
TOMORROWLAND is a very well-intentioned film.
Celebrating curiosity, determination, optimism and a thirst for knowledge, the family-oriented sci-fi film has a good message for young people bombarded with the ideas of climate change, overpopulation, terrorism and obesity.
But director Brad Bird is perhaps a bit too heavy handed in his approach, hitting movie-goers over the head with Tomorrowland's themes rather than letting the characters speak for themselves.
Inspired by Walt Disney's love of innovation and dreams of utopia, the film follows former boy genius Frank Walker (George Clooney) and an overly optimistic misfit (Britt Robertson as Casey) as they try to gain access to a futuristic city in another dimension, Tomorrowland.
As a boy, Frank was recognised for his potential as an inventor and was invited to the utopian society, where scientific and artistic geniuses conduct the work they could not have done on Earth.
Adults will quickly spot the film's many plot holes, but if you allow yourself to just go along for the ride Tomorrow land is certainly an enjoyable film.
Many adults will likely scoff at the film's alternative theory behind the construction of the Eifel Tower, for instance, but the whole film is really an exercise of the assumption that anything is possible.
Britt Robertson and Clooney have good chemistry but in many scenes the spotlight is stolen by young British actress Raffey Cassidy, who plays very capable Tomorrowland recruiter Athena.
Thomas Robinson, who plays young Frank, is also a stand-out.
There is plenty of well-placed humour and well-paced action scenes, but the film could do with a good edit.
At more than two hours long, Tomorrowland risks losing the attention of its target audience.
While Bird has proven himself to be a capable family film director - I'm a big fan of his films Ratatouille and The Incredibles - he seems to have favoured visual spectacle and wonder over tight storytelling with Tomorrowland.
Tomorrowland opens nationally today.