Main cast: George Clooney (Frank Walker), Britt Robertson (Casey Newton), Raffey Cassidy (Athena), Tim McGraw (Eddie Newton), and Hugh Laurie (David Nix)
Director: Brad Bird
I wonder what kind of sin George Clooney is paying penance for when he signs up to be in Tomorrowland. I know, maybe he needs to pay the bills, or the wife wants new shoes, but going from charismatic silver daddy leading man to a hobo grouch opposite a brat, whose love interest is a flat-chested robot who looks like in her early teens is pretty dire. It’s nowhere as bad as playing second fiddle to a talking teddy bear and getting semen samples spilled all over you, I guess, but still.
Director Brad Bird, who also co-wrote the script, takes heavily a page out of the Wachowski siblings’ textbook on script writing. Having characters talk normally and say things that need to be said is so passe – let’s have them speak in garbled or vague platitudes instead! Instead of doing something to help the person you claim to be important for your cause, throw them in deadly danger without any explanation and wait to show up when they manage to save themselves, like you are bloody Gandalf or something! Even if the movie is completely incoherent and fragmented all over, who cares? A lot of money is spent on the CGI, and that is all that matters at the end of the day!
When he was a teenage boy, Frank Walker is an unnaturally precocious boy who speaks like a 50-year old hippie high on drugs. He wants to enter his not-exactly-workable rocket engine thing into some inventor competition held in Disneyland, and is then given a badge and a way to sit on a ride and enter Tomorrowland, a futuristic world that looks suspiciously like all the Disney theme parks that this movie clearly wants you to go spend money on. He spends some time there and falls in love with Athena, a creepily slow-speaking robot with the most unsightly case of serial killer smile ever, but alas, he soon discovers that he can’t lose his virginity to her as Athena is a robot with a mechanical USB slot instead of… you know. The powers-that-be at Tomorrowland, led by Governor David Nix, kicks him out soon after, and Frank spends the next few decades bitter over the fact that, as a teenage boy, he fell in love with a robot chick.
Meanwhile, Casey Newton is a wonderful example of a human being. Her father, a NASA engineer, is about to be laid-off once he helps oversee the dismantling of the neighborhood space station, so she spends her nights hacking into the mainframe and sabotaging the dismantling process. She berates her father because she clearly knows better about how life is out there, and our sheltered pampered princess has no problems stealing, breaking into things, and more while wailing that the world needs to be less selfish. Athena understands at once that this self-absorbed hateful brat is clearly the visionary our world needs, so she sneaks the Tomorrowland badge among Casey’s possessions.
Casey, shortly after being jailed for sneaking into her father’s soon-to-be former workplace to destroy government property, touches the badge and starts seeing visions of Tomorrowland in a parallel dimension. It’s a world populated by tall, skinny, and beautiful people – presumably all the fat and ugly ones are drowned at birth to avoid marring this beautiful world, patterned after Walt Disney’s own vision of a plastic, er, perfect world – so Casey feels right at home. Clearly, when you want a better world and you brag that, unlike other losers, you want to make that happen, the best thing to do is to abandon the world you want to change and live in a Stepford Wives commercial for aesthetic surgery. That’s what Casey does. Instead of thanking her father for bailing him out and begging who knows who to avoid torpedoing her to Mars, she yells at him for not seeing visions when he touches the badge, steals into his room to retrieve the badge, and then runs away from home without informing her father – that’s what future savior of the worlds do.
Wishing to see more visions, she then runs off to a shop run by creepy robots, like a junkie hoping to buy drugs for the first time. Athena saves her, and then dumps her at Frank Walker’s doorstep without introducing Casey to Frank first like what a normal person or robot with common sense would do. Frank and Casey have a competition to see who is the most immature psychopath around, she destroys his personal properties because how dare he keeps her from things that she – as she puts it – deserves to know, David sends people to kill them all, and then they find their way back into Tomorrowland after plunging Paris into a complete blackout and doing who knows how much damage. It’s okay, though. Frank and Casey are all special people who are “dreamers”, unlike you and me, so it’s okay that they do all kinds of crappy nonsense according to their impulsive whims – they are special, so they are… er, special!
Throughout it all, Casey won’t shut up. Everything that comes out of her mouth is the epitome of stupidity, so it is not long before this movie seems like a dire punishment for whatever sins I have done in this life. I have also developed a Pavlovian instinct to cover my ears and sob at the sight of Britt Roberston’s face.
This script has holes bigger than the collective black holes in the entire existence, and it also has two hideously unlikable and borderline sociopathic wretches pretending to be saviors of humanity. The script also turns into an eye-rolling rant about the greenhouse effect, obese kids, and other social ills while, insultingly, offering a solution in the form of a cool kids’ club run by selfish loathsome assholes and powered by robots made to resemble prepubescents. This world is said to be free from politics, social issues, and other “bad” things – although at the same time, this movie doesn’t provide solutions as to how such a world is going to be sustainable. I mean, who is going to plant, catch, and process the food while all the cool kids lounge around pretending to be saving the world? Then again, this world is ruled by those two hateful imbeciles, so perhaps Tomorrowland is actually a “trap” to gather similar-minded wastes of flesh away from the real world, so that we would never have to tolerate their spoiled temper tantrums and diva demands again.
Whatever. Tomorrowland is easily one of the worst wastes of time I have the misfortune to watch. The only reason I stayed to the putrid end was because I paid money to watch this excreta in a theater, and I actually regretted that when I left the theater hating myself for having lost over two hours of my life and who knows how many brain cells to this piece of crap.