In Tomorrowland, current day Earth, and by “Earth” I mean North America, is obsessed with dystopian fiction. It seems that Hollywood, and by “Hollywood” I mean studios other than Disney, take what is broadcast on cable news channels and turn it into entertainment for the masses. Basically, we’re ancient Rome, minus the orgies and vomitoriums. Which is weird, considering how many TV evangelists compare the United States to Soddom and Gomorrah.
I always felt bad for Gomorrah. At least Sodom has a sex act named after it, while Gomorrah has nothing; not even a STD.
Never mind the fact that Disney movies have traumatized gererations of children with their depictions of parents being killed in the most brutal and often senseless ways possible. But those are just animals, and animals die every day anyway.
I will agree that we as a people like our dystopian–always have, always will. Mad Max, The Hunger Games, Divergent, Snowpiercer, etc., all depict life, after life as we knew is in the rear view mirror. In many cases there are characters that have no concept of things being any different.
In Tomorrowland, David Nix (Hugh Laurie) is a bad guy who makes some valid points. He had hoped that the human race would see the depictions of famine, war, and despair, and find a way to prevent it. Instead, people embraced and celebrated it, then ran headfirst into it. He also mentions, in a very House-like way, that the human race simultaneously suffers from both starvation and obesity. That is something to think about.
Dystopian fiction has an appeal which is based on one of the oldest storytelling tropes: conflict. Whether it is person vs person, nation vs nation, or a person with inner turmoil; conflict is relatable. Think about it. God vs Lucifer, Cain vs Abel, Greeks vs nightmare monsters, the idea of conflict is as old as time.
What has utopian fiction ever given us? I haven’t read every book, nor seen every film, but there aren’t that many examples of great utopian society fiction that I can think of. Those I can, like Logan’s Run, were examples of a society that wasn’t all that it seems on the surface. A utopia is hard to maintain because you have to placate all human desires, or remove them from the equasion.
Much like The Dark Knight Rises, Tomorrowland is a film that those with certain polital beliefs like to complain about. Some say Tomorrowland, as depicted in the film, is an Ayn Randian think tank for those deemed to be “exceptional.” Those in the other camp say the movie is another example of global warming propaganda that proclaims the world will be saved by “smart people” a.k.a. scientists. Well, did you think the world was going to be saved by idiots? You can get a Kickstarter going to make that movie if you want. Paulie Shore is available, and reasonably priced.
You know, just once I would like to see film reviewers and politcal pundits argue with each other over how a movie supports their own beliefs, and refutes the other side. It will never happen because negitivity sells, and the dumb masses buy.
It’s been said that “the best cynics are jaded optimists,” or something to that effect. I try to remain as optimistic as possible. I am far more Luke Skywalker than Han Solo, but that’s because I am always looking at the sky, trying to find… Something.