Sunday, May 24, 2015

Movie Review: Tomorrowland

Warning: Spoilers

This movie started well. There was enough action and mystery, good guys and bad guys, and a Disney dream of changing the world or finding a better one.

A better world where your wildest dreams are possible. A world of peace and happiness. A place like Tomorrowland.

Okay maybe not this Tomorrowland.

So the female protagonist of this story whose name appears on none of the posters (Britt Robertson) is a kickass, curious and gutsy young lady who comes into possession of a pin that temporarily transports her into Disney's Tomorrowland, a sci-fi futuristic world where people zip around on jet packs and fly into outer space on rockets.

After her magical pin runs out of power she is left to figure out a way to get to this dreamworld, with the help of George Cloony. But beyond that point I think it lost the plot.

First up, the violence was ridiculous. The other female character was going full-on Black Widow mode, leaping on enemies and decapitating them with her bare hands. Yes they were evil cyborgs like Ultron, but we didn't know up to that time, which made the scene of this little girl stabbing and ripping off someone's head really freaky.

And then more robots that look like humans appeared and the movie turned into something not too unlike Terminator. These cyborgs were scary. And speaking of violence, one character (not a robot but we didn't know that until he) gets partially crushed waist-down by a huge piece of architecture landing on him. It's more violent than the Avengers; At least no one died onscreen in the first Avengers (Agent Coulson and Iron Man don't count).

Anyhow, when was the last time some protagonist who travels to another dimension in a spaceship gets told that her world is ending and she must do what she can to save it? When was the last time you heard a debate about whether we should save the current world or fleeing it for a better one? If you ask me... it's like watching Interstellar again. There's even talk of time travel mind you.

And then we have the ending... I thought she was going to save the world. But she dropped the ball. Literally - the bomb was in the ball and she dropped the ball. Oh well. At least the white man is around to save the day, even if he has to lose his 14-year-old looking robot love interest in the process.

George Cloony's character's love interest. Don't ask.

The first thing I said after the credits started to roll was... "How did the scriptwriter manage to get this script past the people at Disney? I mean... when they asked what this movie was going to be about, what did the person say?"

My best guess is that the scriptwriter said this movie is about getting transported to a Disneyland-like place by a magical pin and being inspired to dream dreams like a kid for the rest for your adult life. "Oh and by the way," the scripwriter would say, seeing the look of doubt on the Disney exec's face, "the collector's pins will sell like hot cakes."

And that is how magic happens.

Disney is either trying too hard or too little.

Bechdel Test: Passed.

No. of films seen this year with:
   White man saving the world - 8 (argh I had such hopes for this one to be below)
   Non-white/male protagonist - 10

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