Tomorrowland ★★★½

"Do I have to explain everything? Can't you just be amazed and move on?"

I have thoroughly enjoyed nearly all of Brad Bird's films. From The Iron Giant (in my opinion his greatest work) to Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol his films are entertaining, humorous, enormously well done pieces of family-appropriate art. So when I saw the reviews pouring in for this film, I was rather shocked. Brad Bird had apparently made his first critically unsuccessful film.

I was still interested in seeing the film, though, and the trailers really had intrigued me. So, today, my brother invited me to see it with him (he too was a huge fan of The Iron Giant). And so I did.

In general, the film is entertaining, humorous and enjoyable as much of Bird's work. However, the primary problem for me, is that it seems to lose sight of what makes its first act or two intriguing, and in its final act is heavily bogged down by an all-too-familiar 'save the world' message, which is done with a level of cheesiness that I wouldn't expect from Bird.

I said earlier this month that I didn't think that a director of Eastwood's quality would not stoop so low as to make a propaganda piece. Brad Bird is at least as great as Eastwood, and though this is not quite totally a propaganda piece, it comes dangerously close. This is more burdened with its message than WALL-E or Princess Mononoke (both of which are excellent films, by the way).

I have nothing against a good message in a film. Certainly, in a way, it's a lesson worth teaching. But it's been taught again and again, and seems to often be the go-to message for a children's film these days. Tomorrowland would have been a much better film had it simply stayed true to what made its opening fascinating and wonderful: a focus on the greatness of imagination.

But like I said, the film is nonetheless entertaining, humorous and enjoyable. Its characters are unique and intriguing for the most part, and we witness some terrific performances from Clooney, Laurie and Robertson. Naysayers gonna naysay, I enjoyed the film for the most part, and loved its visuals especially. The story may have been predictable at many times, but it was still somewhat enchanting and definitely kept me interested.

Tomorrowland is Brad Bird's least great work so far, but that only means it's not as good as The Incredibles. It's still, like all his films, recommendable, and great for the family.