Tomorrowland offers a choice

Tomorrowland is a science-fiction fantasy mystery adventure film directed by Brad Bird, and co-written and produced by Bird and Damon Lindelof. It stars Britt Robertson, George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Raffey Cassidy, Judy Greer, Thomas Robinson, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key, and Tim McGraw. Also there are numerous roles filled by former cast from the long-running Stargate TV franchise, such as Paul McGillion, David Nykl and Garry Chalk. Tomorrowland shares its name with the futuristic themed land found at Disney theme parks. Bird and Lindelof’s screenplay was heavily influenced by Walt Disney’s optimistic philosophy of innovation and utopia, such as his conceptual vision for the planned community known as EPCOT.

Bound by a shared destiny, a bright, optimistic teen (Britt Robertson) bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor (George Clooney) jaded by disillusionment embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory as “Tomorrowland.” What they must do there changes the world-and them-forever. Tomorrowland takes audiences on a thrill ride of nonstop adventures through new dimensions that have only been dreamed of.

At its core is a conflict between two choices exemplified by the Two Wolves Cherokee Parable. It goes like this: An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life…”A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego. The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” To which the wise old chief simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Hugh Laurie as David Nix, an inventor, and governor of Tomorrowland essentially represents the bad wolf, whereas Clooney’s Frank Walker represents the good one. Laurie says “Frank’s idea was to create things that are fun, that make people’s lives better because they bring pleasure and joy, and express hope. Nix is only interested in the more utilitarian platform of research; life for him is an endless scientific quest because he believes that man was put on this Earth to accumulate and develop knowledge.” Laurie’s Nix has an amazing soliloquy about humanity’s fascination with self-destruction that is informative and frightening. Nix’s program dooms the planet Earth but can Frank and Casey save it?

Tomorrowland runs 130 minutes, is rated PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and peril, thematic elements, and language, and is in wide U.S. release as of May 22, 2015.The Critics Consensus on Rotten Tomatoes is: “Ambitious and original enough to be largely forgiven its flaws, Tomorrowland adds another charming chapter to Disney’s library of live-action adventures.”