The script for TOMORROWLAND was kept under lock and key until the critics screenings. Rumors circulated about the film’s story. Was it a tale of Walt Disney and how he created Disneyland? Was it a sci-fi yarn? Was it a typical teen romp? It’s easier to keep a plotline secretive when the scriptwriter isn’t sure of the film’s direction. There are distinct sections to TOMORROWLAND including: a George Clooney liberal smug lecture; an estrogen-filled Disney girlie template; a sci-fi Armageddon tale; and an action escapade. While they all connect on the barest of threads, it leaves TOMORROWLAND as a movie in search of an identity.
As a product of the liberal Disney utopia, TOMORROWLAND is a liberal wet dream. Global warming, corporate greed, Christian bigotry, war, racial and ethnic disharmony, generic gender appreciation, and even public education are all presented as catastrophic events. The film offers failed solutions as remedies for all these global ills. As liberals contend, their plans are not failures; they simply aren’t spending enough on them.
For example: when the world is made correct in the film, viewers have a glimpse of windmills providing power, even though wind power is proven impractical for energy consumption in today’s technology driven culture; a futuristic glimpse shows men and women dressed alike, all with similar square features, dressed as if they stepped off the pages of a unisex catalogue so everyone can like anyone without gender as an issue; and the current social engineering construct of brainwashing women into the sciences is fully exposed to ridiculous standards. Current statistics demonstrate a lack of interest in science and math by women, yet the social engineers desire to alter the maxim. TOMORROWLAND aides the construct by creating female scientific wunderkinds, giving little girls a role model to emulate and hopefully change generations of genetic makeup. “We r in control.” - n. young.
What TOMORROWLAND actually accomplishes is a liberal version of Ayn Rand’s ATLAS SHRUGGED. The premise is the greatest minds have left civilization and created their own pleasure dome in which their enhanced ideologies can rule their existence. This is oddly similar to a mountainous region in Colorado where the world’s greatest capitalists and economists gathered to live in a totally functional society. The difference in the stories is Rand’s utopia worked. The ideal world founded on liberal philosophy in TOMORROWLAND leads to total annihilation.
George Clooney is Frank Walker, a boy genius who is whisked to TOMORROWLAND to lend his intellect to the perfect world. But Frank creates a system that does not fit into TOMORROWLAND’s perfection, and as such, is banned from the dimensional Eden. Enter Brit Robertson, who plays Casey Newton. Newton is also a genius and of course, she is much smarter than Walker, and may be the only person who can stop the Earth’s destruction through man’s interference with nature. Also starring are Hugh Laurie, Kathrin Hahn and Keegan-Michael Key.
Not only are TOMORROWLAND’s plot lines hackneyed, so are some of its scenes as they are purloined from all-too familiar films. One can easily recognize scenes from ROCKETEER, MEN IN BLACK, JURASSIC PARK, STAR WARS, PIRATE OF THE CARRIBEAN, and REAL STEEL, the movie version of Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots. I can’t really fault screenwriter Damon Lindelof nor Director Brad Bird for this concoction of failed and pilfered plot twists. They needed to perform under the Disney umbrella, which is constricting in all aspects except for Bronco Bama’s speech writing and ESPN’s hockey coverage.
Production Designer Scott Chambers creates a futuristic world that embodies the liberal paradigm. While he provides visual wonders, it’s not a world I want to be a part of as it tries to hard to be everything to everybody; like walking down Yonge Street in Toronto. Claudio Miranda goes through painstaking detail to ensure Clooney is in perfect light and angle. But he loses the aura during the climatic fight scene between Clooney and Laurie. Disney has a monopoly on effective, foot-tapping soundtracks and Michael Giacchino does not disappoint here.
The editor for TOMORROWLAND is Walter Murch. Murch is, without question, one of the best cutters in Tinseltown. He does, however, have a foible. In his story telling, he always has a middle segment that is drawn out too long, tending to bog down the film’s flow. It happens here in the second segment. After Clooney’s opening political rant scene, the story shifts to Casey Newton’s involvement. This is the typical Disney girl power sequence. It is dull, too long and not particularly interesting. I nearly bolted from the screening during this painful to watch progression, thinking the Stanley Cup playoffs would be more enjoyable at the theatre bar. Luckily, just as I was ready to leave, TOMORROWLAND took another turn; Casey arrives at Frank’s house and the film shifts from girlie tale to action tale. Murch’s penchant for middle film lulls nearly kills this one.
TOMORROWLAND will be a hard sell at the box office. After all the inconsistencies are dismantled, the only remaining element in the film is Clooney’s hackneyed political views. They are so far in left field, most folk will not pay the cost of a ticket to listen to them, especially when MSNBC avers the same message regularly for no cost. At a screening of thirty people, there were only twenty left at the film’s end. Eight left, and two fell asleep. ‘Nuff said, I reckon.