TOMORROWLAND bombed at the box office and got mostly bad reviews, and I think I know why both of those things happened. This film is pretty much a love letter to anybody who grew up reading science fiction from the Twenties, Thirties, Forties, and Fifties (one of the supporting characters even uses the name Hugo Gernsback!), and that description probably doesn’t fit many film critics these days, or a vast portion of the movie-going public, either. But for those who are the target audience, like me, it’s a wonderful little film.
The plot’s kind of hard to describe. It involves Gustave Eiffel, Jules Verne, Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, the 1964 New York World’s Fair, alternate universes, and killer robots from the future. It’s complicated, but it all makes sense in the end (I think). George Clooney is a disillusioned inventor, Britt Robertson is a brilliant teenage girl who has to save the earth, and a little girl named Raffey Cassidy sort of steals the show as a visitor from the future.
TOMORROWLAND was directed and co-written by Brad Bird, who did THE IRON GIANT and THE INCREDIBLES, so it’s not surprising there’s a sense of wonder and an optimism that are missing from a lot of contemporary films. Though clearly in the minority, I think it’s great, and if you’re a science fiction fan, there’s a chance you might, too. Highly recommended.