IBTimes India Edition Rating: 3
"Tomorrowland" is a film you begin watching with a lot of hope, and not just because the trailer is so promising. The film opens in a very humorous, fun, light-hearted, engaging manner and maintains the momentum right up until the intermission, after which "Tomorrowland" becomes a hot sticky mess, standing in its own way.
The Disney movie, which tries to teach its young viewers about hope, love and most importantly, dreams, begins with the story of a young and inventive Frank Walker (young: Thomas Robinson, adult: George Clooney), whom a 12-ish Athena (Raffey Robinson) takes a liking to. She takes him to futuristic themed land, where the most intelligent men and women converge with their ideas, and "then everything becomes hell," according to Clooney's Frank.
A young Casey Newton (Britt Robertson), cuts off the cynical Walker, and tells her version of the story. The hopeful dreamer is given a pin to enter "Tomorrowland" realms and fighting all adversities with her optimism and the assistance of the still 12-ish Athena.
Casey's optimism breaks down Frank's resolves and with a new-found capacity to hope and dream, he joins the young scientist on her mission to save "Tomorrowland", and the real world from apocalypse.
The first half of the movie is beautifully written and presented, that waiting for the second half of the movie to begin after intermission, is like waiting for a new season of "Game of Thrones". You would root for the movie, until the end, much like you would wish your favourite series isn't cancelled, even when you start resenting yourself for still watching it.
But alas, you are back in the dark hall with a fresh cup of popcorn in hand to witness a train-wreck. The story gets lost in itself and the characters go in loops talking about hopes and dreams.
Even when the story fails, "Tomorrowland" keeps the viewers engaged with the brilliant camera work and visual effects, even without - or especially without - 3D effects. The robots, especially the obnoxious special investigator, are depicted brilliantly. Raffey Cassidy, who plays the adorable girl-like robot Athena, deserves special mention. Every time she is on-screen, the actress stole the scene, be it with Britt Robertson or veteran George Clooney.
The adult Clooney's admission of love for Athena and her addressing it before dying, is definitely creepy on paper. However, both actors played their parts with so much sincerity that viewers only feel compassion. In fact, even Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird deserve immense praise for the unadulterated writing and directing for Athena's "death" scene in what was otherwise a badly-brought-out second half.
All in all, you are left with a sense of disappointment while leaving the theatre, but you will remember the movie in general, especially pre-intermission, with a sense of nostalgic love. The movie is definitely worth watching in theatres, if only for the special effects and robotic acrobatics.