Almost 15 years ago in school a teacher asked me what I thought the future would look like. As crazy as I was I thought we'd be able to fly, flying cars for everyone that could shoot us into the sky. We could fly! For miles and miles without a care. Animals could talk. Our pets would be able to communicate with us.Imagine a turtle that you had, talking to you, while you slept... think of a Goldfish easing you to sleep with the voice of Morgan Freeman.
We're going bonkers.
I was a kid, and a crazy idea I blurted out was that we could live underwater. As the other kids laughed, my teacher just said "one can dream David, maybe you can make that happen"... I went back to my drawing board; Crayons and paper of course, I just dreamed of my Utopia; instead of underwater, we were above the clouds; maybe the water thing would last so long. People were hovering on cars, robots that could help us everyday, aiding kids, old people, everything could be made in an instant, I called it "insta-here" (I was 6.); It seemed like an achievable dream, with vast opportunities, all the positivity and scientific achievements we could accomplish. Of course there would be problems, and people who would believe the power that is in front of their faces, would be selfish to believe that it should be only theirs. Fast track to 2015; another mind comes into the playing field to attempt a new tomorrow, a fresh approach into what the world could really be, if we so attempted to make it such. Brad Bird. As brilliant as his vision, we had one thing in common; Our ideas were only great on paper.
From the beginning sequence of meeting young Frank Walker, Brad Bird takes us to a futuristic 1964 Disneyland-esque place where an invention competition is being held. Young Frank believes his jet pack is the answer to all the problems, but it does not work...yet. We meet our foe Mr. Nix played by a familiar face Hugh Laurie. Unsurprisingly not impressed with this failed machine we meet Athena, a girl who gives Frank a strange button, that leads to a minimal chase to his destiny. While trying to catch up with Athena and Mr. Nix, they all land into Tomorrowland, and the jaw dropping begins. From the moment Frank Walker lands into this extravagant Utopia, above the clouds, encircled with tubes of travel, we catch glimpses of rich grand buildings, gorgeous views of the sun, and a desire that is begging to be discovered now. Are we ready for it? Could we adapt to such monstrous changes? We transition to now.
Meeting Casey, a lover of stars, an explorer space seeker, destined for better things in life, who in one of her father's NASA shenanigans unexpectedly receives a button just like Frank, and immediately upon touch, her world changes in a blink of an eye into Tomorrowland. Extremely curious of what she has just found she goes to the source, and meets Old Man Walker and Athena and the adventure begins into an abysmal, fun, mushy ride that still is on my mind as to how much better it could have been if they had ... more time.
For starting off with the Negative; maybe they should have released it this year. Maybe in 2017. There were millions of ideas and directions a film at this magnitude could have gone rather then the setup of this film. While 2 hours and 15 minutes is a great chunk, most of the actions and setup left you wondering "But what about this?" "Stop, wait a second". It left me clueless, hungry for what they could have delved the story into, rather than pause and effect into every moment. When landing into Tomorrowland, the direction was set as to thinking the viewers already knew the landscape and we can carry on with are one dimension characters. Most of the scenes were not mapped out and plugged in correctly, making it seem as they were brainstorming while putting the play in somewhat of an order. Brad Bird gave the world The Incredibles; one of the best animated family movies in the history of cinema. Why did we enjoy that? Everything was meant to be important. Each character, landscape, villain, explanation, seemed like a piece for such an outstanding puzzle. And in this film's case although it was live, the direction was not there. It seemed rushed and pretty cliche to the point, that even in the beginning intro, you knew what the outcome was. That's not always a bad thing, but an idea as bright and new as it was set up to be, made the ending such a downfall. It had the greatest potential to be enchanting, to leave us speechless, to want us to grab this story and cherish it. In the end, we're left with muddy, visual, mess. As much as I wanted to enjoy every little detail, I could not help but moan at the story-less tale we were given.
As for the positive, It has its visual charm from Bird. The man can created an atmosphere leaving you breathless and somewhat jaw dropping. For the first seen into Tomorrowland, I was in aw. No film Director can create a future outer sanctuary so precise, so detailed as Brad Bird. That can make up most of the film, with characters that can bring a small jab of life, and some moments that play with you emotions minimally, but it leaves a sting. It was a visual crowd pleaser, and critiquing aside, it was fun. It played with possibilities, daring the inventive side of effects. Brad Bird mixes The Incredibles love, The Iron Giants nostalgic hero adventure, and minimal suspense of Ghost Protocol, but lacks passion that all these films had. I'm not saying Brad Bird missed it big time with this, but maybe a television series would have done its due diligence, or just another year or remapping the situation, the bottom line, it had the potential to become another Brad Bird classic, but one can not love it, rather enjoy it for what it slightly was for; a futuristic roller coaster, emotional, mash. Brad Bird made this to inspire children, and as underrated as it may seem, it has inspired me to keep striving. To dream.