Film Review: Tomorrowland: A World Beyond


Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland: A World Beyond is brimming with wonder. The film is reminiscent of a traditional adventure movie, and as such is a very entertaining journey.

When teen space aficionado Casey Newton gets a glimpse of a futuristic world, she is determined to learn more. She enlists the help of Frank Walker, a reluctant former boy genius, who has also visited the wondrous place…

Tomorrowland: A World Beyond is a triumph of spectacle. Director and co-writer Brad Bird delivers wonder in spades. Visually, the film is sumptuous with its fantasy depictions. Bird has effectively tapped into science fiction imagery to produce a world rich in futuristic spectacle.

With its flashback opening scenes, Tomorrowland: A World Beyond offers a stylised vision of the past. And as much as the film is about the future, there is a certain resonance with the past. Bird’s film has the feel of a classic adventure; it has a different tone to recent movies of this genre. As such, there is something traditional and wholesome about the film which harks back to family-suitable movies of the 1980s.

Tomorrowland: A World Beyond teases viewers with glimpses of a fantasy world, taking its time to give context and meaning to the science fiction elements depicted. The film deals with familiar dynamics of the genre, positing a central theme of hope versus despair. The good-technology bad-technology trope is also present in Tomorrowland: A World Beyond, although even the more insidious aspects bring elements of humour. With its focus on environmental issues, the film tackles a pertinent and commendable topic. However, towards the end especially, Bird’s film does come across as preachy, detracting slightly from the overall message.

Cinematography and art direction in Tomorrowland: A World Beyond are superb. Michael Giacchino’s score also works very well with the attractive visuals. George Clooney offers a decent performance, although both he and Britt Robertson are outshone by the delightful Raffey Cassidy.

A welcome addition to the sci-fi adventure genre, Tomorrowland: A World Beyond successfully marries spectacle with an engaging narrative. A family film which should please all parties.

Stuff To Look At

Plenty of film-related goodies for your audio-visual pleasure this week, including Inside OutTomorrowland – A World Beyond, and John Wick

Inside Out

This latest trailer for Disney Pixar’s latest animated feature Inside Out reveals a little more about the plot. The film seems to continue Pixar’s brand of humour on different levels and emotion. Inside Out is due for release in the UK on 24th July 2015.

Tomorrowland – A World Beyond

I remember having these wonderful chicken strips at Tomorrowland in Florida’s Disney World many years ago. I don’t think this new film is about them, however. Tomorrowland – A World Beyond seems to be giving meat to the theme park ride as film concept with Brad Bird directing, from a screenplay by Bird and Damon Lindelof. Tomorrowland – A World Beyond hits UK screens on 22nd May 2015.

Paper Towns

Paper Towns

Paper Towns is the latest film adaptation of a John Green novel. The Fault in Our Stars writer Green second film adaptation is a coming of age story starring Cara Delvingne and Nat Wolff. Paper Towns is set for release in cinemas this summer.

John Wick

Not the puppy! Action thriller John Wick looks like it is going to be a lot of fun. The film stars Keanu Reeves as a retired hit man on a revenge mission. Also starring Alfie Allen, Willem Dafoe, and John Leguizamo, John Wick hits UK cinemas on 10th April 2015.

San Andreas

Disaster movie San Andreas sees the threat in the form of a massive earthquake, and the protagonist in the form of Dwayne Johnson, eager to rescue his daughter in San Francisco amidst the chaos. San Andreas will be released in UK cinemas on 29th May 2015.

Film Review: Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol

The fourth film in the series and the first in five years, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol ticks all the boxes as far as providing an entertaining action blockbuster.

Having been away from the work of the IMF for a number of years, agent Ethan Hunt is implicated in a major terrorist act overseas. When the unit is shut down, it is up to Hunt to lead a small team of agents to clear the organisation’s name and expose the real culprit…

Director Brad Bird injects new life into the Mission: Impossible film franchise. After the unmemorable third instalment, the new film seems to have more energy. Part of the reason the film works well is because of the team dynamic. More pronounced than in the previous instalments, Ghost Protocol centres on Ethan Hunt leading a team of agents. The group are indispensable to Hunt’s mission, playing more than merely a subordinate role.

Ghost Protocol recalls a certain type of Bond film in its format. The film revolves around some big set pieces, with the downtime used mostly for expository gap-filling. The stunts in Ghost Protocol are even more elaborate than previous episodes, with Tom Cruise engaged in some truly frightening situations. The opening sequence in particular is reminiscent of the stand-alone action-packed beginning of Bond films. The opening credits sequence also hark back to the spy franchise, as well as the original Mission: Impossible television series.

The film relies on these set pieces to grab the attention. This is a successful tactic, although the film peaks too early with a particularly spectacular scene. Otherwise, the narrative is fairly standard for the genre, with little that will really surprise audiences.

Tom Cruise is on good form in Ghost Protocol; he seems to have a lot of energy and relish for the film. Jeremy Renner provides good support, as does Paula Patton. Simon Pegg brings humour, but is less convincing in more serious moments.

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol should satisfy all those looking for a blockbuster this holiday season. It is stunt-heavy and very entertaining.

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol Trailer

After a five-year hiatus, Tom Cruise is back for the fourth instalment of the Mission: Impossible franchise. Ghost Protocol, directed by Brad Bird, is due to be released in December 2011. Cruise is joined by Jeremy Renner, who will hopefully inject some new life into the series. The cast also includes Paula Patton and Simon Pegg. While the above trailer is certainly action-packed, it remains to be seen how the film will fare. The previous three films have grossed a total of $2 billion, so Ghost Protocol has big shoes to fill…