Disney does dystopia – and it’s a rather dull world after all…


With a running time of 2 hours and 10 minutes it is difficult when watching Tomorrowland to understand where that time goes. Unfortunately, this is not in the positive way of ‘time flies when you’re having fun!’ More like, ‘what took you guys so long?’ The film is so generic and vague with terms of the audience it is pitching to that it ends up appealing to no-one. The entire film feels like a set-up for a sequel – a sequel which, judging it’s current box office takings, will not happen. The film is a victim of scriptwriting – of safe, as opposed to lazy, scriptwriting.

All the expected tropes of a Disney film are here; a main character (Casey Newton, played by Britt Robertsonwith a unique ability that makes her an outcast (her instinctive knowledge of science, in case you didn’t work that out from the surname); a sibiling who acts older than their years (looks roughly 11 but has the wisdom on someone five times that); a single parent upbringing (mum died under mysterious circumstances, leaving behind an embittered genius scientist of a father); a British villian (Hugh Laurie); a call to arms (in the form of a mysterious young girl) and an opportunity to save the world (from it’s self – more on that later…) aided by a maverick elder figure (George Clooney).

All of this combined creates a film which we feel like we have seen before – arguably just with a new and futuristic setting. The idea is that we are aligned with Casey, as she is inducted into this world via a pin. The pin is delivered to her by an unknown source (unknown to her, we know it is Athena who has established links to Tomorrowland) which upon touching takes her to the ‘World Of Tomorrow’ (if you are a fan of Futurama you just got that reference and probably read it in your head in the appropriate tone of voice…) Casey spends two minutes (literally, as shown by the back of the pin) in Tomorrowland and is desperate to go back. Frank Walker (as played by George Clooney) is just the man to do it.

What procedes their meeting is the exciting set piece you have probably seen from the trailers, which have been front-loaded for the past few months. It is a fantastic set piece. It is also the best bit of the film. The rest is merely set up – conversations, discussions and fights which delay our arrival to Tomorrowland. Once we arrive the film’s messages, which have been not-so-subtly placed throughout the film, are then articulated in their entirety – obviously via the British villian giving a great speech. True, there are some important ideas being highlighted within this ‘great’ speech, but there are also some ideas which are either unnecessary or contradictory. It is hard to establish as a viewer whether I should be trying to fix my current world, or using my creativity to help establish a new and better one.

The film also has an important message about hope – of never giving up on one’s dreams. I hope that this film helps Hollywood realise it needs to get some original ideas…

No, not really George. Thanks for the offer though...

No, not really George. Thanks for the offer though…



  1. mediocrenick · May 26, 2015

    I was disappointed with the movie. It felt like an extended commercial for the theme park. Clooney needs to deliver a good flick again.


    • charlottesometimes92 · May 26, 2015

      Agreed! I know the tactic (mostly) worked for Pirates: Curse of the Black Pearl but it really didn’t work!


      • mediocrenick · May 26, 2015

        I’ll tell what went wrong, that movie was fun, this movie isn’t a wee bit same. And add philosophy to dystopia.


  2. theaspiringfilmcritic · May 26, 2015

    Nice review! I had a feeling that Tomorrowland would play out the way that it did. It’s such a shame really.


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