So over the Memorial Day weekend I had the pleasure of seeing Disney’s latest silver screen theme park promotion, Tomorrowland and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. I went to the theater with little ideas as to what the movie was about, but from the television spots I’d seen with the giant fighting robots, jetpacks, and pins that caused people to hallucinate about futuristic worlds when touched I was kind of expecting something along the lines of a fun ’90s picture about what the 21st century was supposed to be. Tomorrowland was actually a bit more inventive than that though.
When optimistic girl genius Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) discovers a strange pin among her possessions after being released from jail for tampering with a NASA launch pad, she finds that the pin can temporarily project an image of a world beyond our time and outside of space. When the pin runs out of juice, Casey goes online to seek others who may have answers about what the pin is and how to get another one, but instead she only finds trouble in the form of a group of murderous androids that begin to seek and attempt to destroy her. Fortunately for Casey, she receives protection from another clever but manipulative android named Athena who introduces her to Frank Walker (George Clooney), a pessimistic and reclusive inventor who once went to the world called Tomorrowland and was later exiled from it. While dodging murder-bots, unlocking space-warping vehicles concealed within the Eiffel Tower, and dealing with the strange tension between Frank and Athena, Casey is eventually taken to the place she desires to see only to find out that under the governance of Nix (Hugh Laurie), Tomorrowland is actually a place that foreshadows disaster rather than hope for a brighter future.
Tomorrowland may have been meant to be a kids’ movie but it doesn’t have as many plot holes and awkward moments as one might expect from movies meant for younger viewers. It explores the idea of the capability of a machine to love (as Ex Machina also explored in a darker way), questions what can we do to improve the Earth’s current problems, and centers on the feeding of the “wolf of light and hope” or the “wolf of darkness and despair”. While there are some bits in the story that could have been improved, it was still enjoyable and inspirational in many ways, but I have to admit with some shame that as far as movies inspired by Disney theme park attractions go, I am actually looking forward more to the next installment of Pirates of the Caribbean.