Remember when, as a child, you pictured the future? There were flying cars, outlandish outfits, and jetpacks to speedily dart you from place to place. Do you remember what it felt like to dream about this rousing future? Put aside all current cynicism and try to recall how hopeful, giddily excited, inspired and optimistic you once felt, wherein anything was possible. Tomorrowland, the latest thrilling feature from director Brad Bird (Mission:Impossible-Ghost Protocol, The Incredibles), ambitiously and vividly conceptualizes these wide-eyed childhood concepts and should energize even the most sneering filmgoer into dreaming of a better tomorrow.
The film follows highly intelligent teenager Casey Newton (The Longest Ride‘s Britt Robertson) who sneaks out every night with her homemade gadgetry in the hopes of stopping the local NASA station, where her engineer father (Tim McGraw) works, from getting dismantled. Little does she know that she is being closely watched by the mysterious little girl Athena (Saoirse Ronan-doppelganger Raffey Cassidy). After being thrown in jail for her nighttime activities, upon leaving Casey is given an enigmatic pin which magically transports her to Tomorrowland, a wondrous place where the world’s preeminent innovators can work, free from politics, greed, or distractions of any kind. She quickly discovers, however, that the place has rapidly devolved into an empty wasteland but, with the aid of Frank Walker (George Clooney), Athena, and much hope for the future, Casey can forever alter Tomorrowland and the Earth’s future.
While the proceedings are heavy-handed at times (the camera looms on a sign that reads “Imagination” at one point, for example), Bird and co-screenwriter Damon Lindelof (The Leftovers, Lost) have crafted a Spielbergian adventure tale that is sure to be a future family classic.