This weekend I was one of the few to go and check out Tomorrowland. I had been looking forward to this film for a long time. It had everything going for it - a cool retro-futurisitc vibe, mystery, George Clooney, and of course the great Brad Bird. It barely came out on top for it’s opening weekend barely beating Pitch Perfect with just a $32 million opening. It’s Rotten tomato score is at 49%, which means rotten, the lowest Brad Bird has ever gotten for one of his films is Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol with 93%. All that to say I, like the majority, was immediately disappointed in this film. I thought I was getting an intelligent futuristic film on par with Interstellar with a whole lot more fun. What I got was nothing close to that. It was a child-oriented film focused on getting to Tomorrowland rather than showing you it.
Despite how disappointed I was at first I have to say that I can’t get Tomorrowland out of my head. I keep thinking about it - the plot, the characters, and the message of this film. After mulling it over for a couple days I have come to the conclusion that while this is not the movie I wanted, it’s the movie I needed.
Tomorrowland is at its core a story of hope. We need that. Today we are bombarded by horrific, tragic, and disheartening news. It comes at us 27/7 through tv, our Facebook feed, and it’s always trending on Twitter. The world seems pretty hopeless sometimes with natural disasters, political controversies, and random acts of evil committed by terrible individuals. That’s enough to make any of us depressed and pessimistic. The question then pops up "If things are getting worse today what is tomorrow going to be like?” The answer would appear to be completely negative. The world would appear to be going to crap.
Then comes this movie saying that it’s not all doom and gloom. We can do things better. We can make a better tomorrow. How? Through technology? No. Through science? Not necessarily. How then? Through hoping and believing in the potential we have as a race to be a creative force for good. We can build a better tomorrow together by being optimistic and not giving up. That is a powerful message. This message was everywhere in Tomorrowland. It was exemplified in George Clooney’s character - Frank, which is one of the most interesting characters I have seen in a very long time. We all need to hold onto that message. Things might be bleak with the economy and all the horrible things we hear on cable news stations, but that does not mean this world is going down the tubes. There’s a chance. There is hope and that hope has quantifiable power to make things better.
While I did not find Tomorrowland to be a great film, I was deeply encouraged by the message Brad Bird gave us - a message of hope. What do you think? Have you seen Tomorrowland?