Tomorrowland (PG)

In a word: Hopeful

Vision of the future? PICTURE: © 2015 Walt Disney Pictures. All Rights Reserved. Image by Industrial Light & Magic.

"There’s some fun visuals which play on the idea of the ‘modern’ and the movie brings with it the same sort of warm-heartedness we’ve seen in some of Bird’s earlier animated films, flying in the face of the recent rash of dystopian films and strongly evoking a sense of optimism and excitement about the possibilities the future offers."

A story about the possibilities of future, this film’s charm, like Spielberg’s Eighties classic The Goonies, lies in its unadulterated escapism. But, that said, things become a little too confused along the way and it sadly ends with a whimper rather than a bang.

Directed by Brad Bird (largely known for animations like The Incredibles, Ratatouille and Brave), the film opens with a flashback sequence in which a young inventor Frank Robinson, eager to present his new invention – a jetpack – to the Hall of Invention at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. But while Frank’s invention falls flat, he does met a very forward English girl named Athena (Raffy Cassidy) who leads him into a futuristic world.

Jumping back to modern day, we meet Casey Newton (played by Britt Robertson of Under the Dome fame), daughter of a soon-to-be out of work NASA engineer, who finds a mysterious ‘button’ which allows her to be transported to the same futuristic world we first met with Frank (well, not completely transported – she’s both here and there at the same time which leads to some complications to say the least).

Her encounter with this strange new land brings her into contact with Athena, who we now discover is somewhat robotic, and, fending off the unwanted attentions of some nasty machines, eventually leads her to find Frank, now a reclusive adult (played by George Clooney).

The three of them then embark on a journey that leads them back to Tomorrowland as they hurry to save the future of the world from the plans of the new world’s leader, Nix (played by Hugh Laurie).

There’s some fun visuals which play on the idea of the ‘modern’ and the movie brings with it the same sort of warm-heartedness we’ve seen in some of Bird’s earlier animated films, flying in the face of the recent rash of dystopian films and strongly evoking a sense of optimism and excitement about the possibilities the future offers.

While the overly complicated plot may leave much unanswered (don’t try and figure it all out, it’ll just give you a headache), for those able to put all that aside Tomorrowland makes for an enjoyable way to lose yourself and the kids (yes, kids - this is good, clean fun) for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon.