Thursday 21 May 2015

Tomorrowland ... Grumpy Clooney

GEORGE Clooney has a chip on his shoulder, and it's all because the girl he had fallen in love with at the age of 11 rebuffed his advances.
    This certainly sounds more engrossing than the hackneyed concept of humans facing the destruction of Earth. What is it anyway with Hollywood throwing Earth to the dogs? There's a similar concept in Avengers: Age of Ultron, in which baddies threaten the wholesale destruction of our lovely planet.

    Clooney's charm is lost in this spectacle that is overwhelmed by special effects. He's grumpy, has a five o'clock beard and his irritation will rub viewers the wrong way.
   Thank God, however, for the effervescence of Britt Robertson, whose intelligence and unflinching faith in the goodness of humans save the day. Watching her square off against Clooney is Tomorrowland's best asset.
    Gray haired Frank Walker (Clooney) is a former science boy wonder who now lives as a recluse in a heavily-armed house.
    In 1964, Frank takes his jetpack invention and his wide-eyed innocence to the New York World's Fair, where the park is bursting with people and scientific ideas. He meets freckly blue-eyed girl Athena (Raffey Cassidy) and his enthusiasm makes an impression on her.
   Cut to the present day. Rebellious teen Casey (Robertson) is breaking into a Nasa launch site to sabotage it. She's also the cheerleader to her Nasa engineer father (Tim McGraw), who feels down in the dumps as he's about to lose his job.
   Athena brings them together, and their first encounter, where they attempt to escape a few baddies dressed in typical black baddie clothes, is humorous and titillating.
   Things start to go downhill from here. You have your usual cat-and-mouse scenes but nothing captures your interest. The sight of a parallel world that houses scientists building a better future is something you'd have seen in Guardians of the Galaxy or Elysium.
   Frank is haunted by TV images of problems across the globe, including wars, demonstrations and climate change. He accepts the impending doomsday, and the parallel universe also accepts his conclusion.
   In a situation like this, no one asks who's responsible for the near annihilation of Earth. It's easier for Hollywood to portray the US as the saviour of the world, rather than facing up to the ugly truth of the latter's roles as wanton global polluter and also the No. 1 arms spender in the world.
  However, if you suspend reality and be swayed by the exuberance and beauty of Casey, you'll believe that her optimism and never-say-die attitude may just pull us back from the precipice.
     It may just makes us believe in Einstein's quote, "Imagination is more important than knowledge", which is displayed in the film.

3 out of 5 stars



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