Thursday, May 28, 2015

Tomorrowland: A tale of two tomorrows

From talking with several folks who've seen Tomorrowland, I've come to believe that whether you will like this movie depends entirely on how willing you are to give yourself over to its charms--and its manipulations.

At core, the film is basically an agitprop piece for science-based optimism.  The future we're facing now is one of utter extinction brought on by pessimism and a lack of science-based effort.  The future we could have is bright.  The plot shows us a path from the former to the latter.

A few folks called it Peter Pan, and in many ways that's not far off.  It argues that if enough of us pay attention to the lessons of science, remain optimistic, and work hard to improve humanity's behavior (or clap our hands), we (Tinkerbells all) will live, and all will be well.

That telling, though, is the cynical version of the story, one that you may well feel if director and co-writer Brad Bird's manipulations strike you as too heavy-handed and overt.

For me, Tomorrowland was vastly better than that.  Though I could see the manipulations--Bird pulls no punches with them--I still found the movie a surprising achievement, a film that is entertaining and absorbing from start to finish but that is also clearly and directly a message movie.  I loved every second of it.

I encourage you to check out Tomorrowland.  Even if you hate it, you'll enjoy the visuals and the performances of George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Raffey Cassidy, and Britt Robertson.  With luck, you'll enter with a little optimism and leave with a great deal more.  I did.


old aggie said...

I felt exactly the same way, Mark. The SFX for the scene set in France (no spoilers) were worth the price of the ticket IMO - makes me smile just to remember those visuals. I thought Tomorrowland needed me to suspend a little more of my disbelief than most of the SFF movies I've seen, but I kinda didn't mind.

Mark said...

Yeah, this one hit me in my optimism sweet spot, so I was willing to cut it a lot of slack.


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