Back to the Future, Godless, Indiana Jones, Iron Giant, The Jetsons, Jumanji, Matrix, Men in Black, Rocketeer, Star Trek II, Terminator, WarGames, Wall-e, Wile E. Coyote and a host of other films are lovingly referenced… (Stop voice here).
That’s Tomorrowland, director Brad Bird’s (Ratatouille, The Incredibles) latest film starring George Clooney, Britt Robertson, an amazing Raffey Cassidy, and a slightly perplexed looking Hugh Laurie.
Bound by a shared destiny, a teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory.
Got that? One cranky old guy and a witty brilliant marginalized teenage female save the world using time travel, tachyons, robots from outer space, jet packs, and a bath tub escape pod.
How’s the movie, as a stand-alone entity? Pretty good, a solid seven. It’s not Bird’s best work, but here’s why you need to take your kids to see it.
It’s a science fiction action movie, and the heroes . . . wait for it . . . are girls. Yes, a sci-fi adventure film in which a teenager (Britt Robertson) and a tween (Rafey Cassidy) not only save the world, but do so as real females. Females who are insightful and “know why stuff works.” Girls who get muddy and wet. Girls who don’t care that they are filthy. Girls who get into fights and kick some butt. Girls who pose tough questions to their elders. Girls who are problem solvers and change the fate of the universe. Our little microverse of it, at any rate.
You need to take your kids to Tomorrowland. The homage sequences will make you whisper to your significant other “Hey honey. Look, that’s right out of those Benetton ads.” The cross-generational badinage will make you chuckle. The chase and fight scenes are worthwhile. Bird incorporates some terribly decent ILM sci-fi work that will make you suspend a fair bit of disbelief.
So why the need? Because two of the three heroes are girls. Unapologetically, unremarkable girls. Regular girls that you’d see walking through any school. Your daughters will get it right away. If you have sons, they will see that the girls next door can be heroic problem-solvers.
Watch the trailer here. And then go see the movie.