RELEASED: 2015, May
GENRE: Action, Adventure, Mystery
DURATION: 130 min(s)
DIRECTOR: Brad Bird
ACTORS: George Clooney, Brit Robertson, Hugh Laurie
PLOT: Casey Newton (Robertson) is a genius who has a strong interest in the world around her. After posting bail for a crime, Casey finds a pin that brings her to a place of limitless potential, a new world where anything seems possible. In order to gain access to this futuristic dimension though she will have to enlist the aid of a former resident of that place named Frank (Clooney). However, Frank’s history with the utopia may prove an insurmountable obstacle, especially when hunters continue to track he and Casey.
ACTORS’ PERFORMANCE: Perhaps one of the strongest components of this movie is the acting. Robertson once again dazzles the screen in both looks and talents as she brings her character to life. Casey seems like a real person, who has the right balance of wits, passion, and emotion as she ventures into the unknown. Robertson knows how to deliver her lines with sass, keeping you laughing and engaged, but not overdoing it to get annoying (most of the time). Clooney also lives up to his potential, somehow managing to deliver powerful dialog despite his limited emotional spectrum. The aged hunk for the most part is either angry or emotionally moot as his character explains the ins and outs of technological history. While strong alone, together Clooney and Robertson are stronger, their chemistry amazing as they play off each other like a father-daughter combination. Even though she isn’t the top credit, Raffey Cassidy is the other major contender in the film. Cassidy is already very impressive to me, another wild card who can play a wide variety of qualities into one character. She has an ability to bring wit and laughs with her sarcasm, but yet bring class and charm to ground her jokes.
SCENES: Tomorrowland’s scenes aren’t half bad, and can be split essentially into two parts: real world and tomorrowland. In the real word the scenes are well shot, the camera work in particular well directed to capture the detail. Our journey across the world has great visuals and is filmed in a number of beautiful areas that are appeasing to the eye. As for tomorrowland visuals, they are okay. The graphics for the imaginative technologies are sleek, shiny, and bright, representative of the good old Disney imagination. Yet, the design team has some edges to smooth out if they want to compete with other animation works like Transformers and Jurassic Park. Most of the robots and gadgets have a cartoony look to them, some looking no more than a plastic kids toy that lights up. It is PG, but come on… you don’t have to go that cheap. Regardless the scenes are well edited, and the visuals are beautifully woven into the live action to make a world that mirrors the park’s scenery.
LIKED: Aside from the acting, Tomorrowland does have a few other good qualities that I found entertaining. This film is constantly moving, our heroes being hunted keeps them on their toes as they try to elude their captors. Clooney’s ingenuity, combined with creative movie magic, allows them to find new ways to keep the chase going and the excitement as well. Speaking of excitement, Tomorrowland surprisingly has some okay action that spans across hand to hand combat, robot boxing, and laser gunplay. Don’t blow a gasket people, the action has been programmed to be family friendly and happens so quickly it’s like it wasn’t there. Be warned there is a bit of darkness to the fights though, and you may exercise caution for kids who are sensitive. Even better is that all of this action is intertwined with character development and mystery to help keep suspense building in the movie. I found myself trying to decipher what had caused each character to act the way they did, everything hovering around some major incident. It kept me engaged in the characters and wondering what would transpire to force them to reveal their secrets.
DISLIKED: The first weakness I disliked was the lack of time in Tomorrowland. Despite the title, you don’t spend that much time in the futuristic utopia that you saw in the commercials. Casey does venture a few times to give you a taste of the computer generated dimension, but she doesn’t really get to interact with the world the way you might expect. I felt robbed and was disappointed that we didn’t get more time with the fun technology the world held. Another flaw was what the big event was they were trying to prevent. The big reveal was a convoluted mess, that really didn’t hold much threat or evil as I had expected. Personally it was just a plot device used to preach the morals of this movie, which while good, doesn’t make for a good antagonist. Even the solution was uncomplicated, and despite all the chasing, the movie lacked the edge I wanted, (blame it on the PG ranking). Some parts were also boring and a bit too drawn out, leading to the 130 minute runtime, which was not necessary.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Tomorrowland immerses you into Disney Theme park imagination and is a fun tale for families alike. The concepts are convoluted, and the situations are a bit more mature for the typical Disney goer, but they do contain sustenance older adults like to see. It’s a fun blend, and does have some well crafted graphics, but I’ve seen better, more engaging tales in some of their earlier works. Worth a trip to the theater? For the special effects yes, but I recommend renting this one.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 7.0