Reviews: Tomorrowland

Anvilicious: the movie

Well, this movie has a message, and if you can't tell what the message is 3 minutes in, you probably couldn't tell if someone whacked you across the face with it printed on a halibut.

With that said, the visuals are great. But they don't add much. Everything important is told via infodump from a character monologue. Then you have an action/chase sequence that looks neat. Then you get another character rant/infodump. Then some more visuals. Then more monologue and infodump.

That's basically how the movie works. Nothing flows. You get something fun to look at, then you have to hear people drone on and on about something you already figured out in the first 3 minutes so you know what the moral of the story already is and will they just get to the point already?

If it had any subtlety, it could have been a better movie. Or if the main character didn't alternate back and forth between an engineering genius and a screaming idiot. Overall, a waste of a perfectly decent concept and idea.


Honestly, I thought this movie was weak and disappointed me after I saw a preview of this in Disneyland last May. That preview turned out to be the best scene in the film, since they switched genres and plot points for the wrong reasons. You didn't really care for the characters who died.

This was the opportunity for Disney to take an invention and innovation-themed course, but they made Waterworld IN SPACE instead.


Tomorrowland is a very touching look at idealism vs fatalism in science fiction, particularly showing the progression from optimistic visions of the future to current predictions of dystopia in the history of science fiction, a subject I'm very familiar with.

The crux of the conflict is human beings being resigned to the consequences of the damage they cause, rather than trying to fix the problems because they're convinced success is impossible. It gets fairly meta, comparing the techno-utopian expectations of the past to modern dystopian fears, but set in a world where both are possible outcomes. Although it does overestimate the difference between past and present works of futurism, i.e. the dystopian works referenced, like 1984 and Brave New World, were made the same time as the more positive inspirations, if not earlier.

As someone with a practically all-encompassing scifi awareness, this is a very welcome bit of cinematic retrofuturistic fun. Many of the criticisms of the film describe it as heavy handed, but while it's hardly subtle, it's still touching and thoughtful. What really impresses me about it, and what I think many critics missed, is that all the problems aren't instantly gone just because the villain is beaten (a villain with a decent point, no less), a meaningful resolution to larger problems is going to take actual work, and that's the note it leaves on.