Tomorrowland is Disney’s latest foray into the sci-fi market. While ambitious and visually stunning, a Swiss cheese plot occasionally makes it fall apart.
It takes a while to get started. Actually, it took me about the first 30 minutes to figure out what was going on. We meet an inventive boy at the World’s Fair in 1964. That boy grows up to be Frank Walker (George Clooney), a disillusioned man who sees how bleak the future really is. His foil is Casey (Britt Robertson) a girl wearing rose colored glasses who refuses to see the future as bleak as Frank does. Then, they learn of an alternate reality, Tomorrowland, which is a utopia for scientists and inventors. According to a droid named Athena (Raffey Cassidy) they’re the only ones who can save it.
For the first part of the movie, the mystery is intriguing, the visuals stunning and the characters likeable. Clooney slides into his roll pretty effortlessly, and Robertson is a believable optimist. Of course, for either lead, these are not difficult rolls. These are characters that these guys have both played before.
There are some minor dialog issues, like when they try a bit too hard to explain certain scientific advances like time travel. They seemed almost desperate to make the audience buy into their science. When it comes to that, it was a bit annoying. I don’t need to see how the sausage is made to eat it. At one point, Frank even says to a curious Casey;
“Do I have to explain everything? Can’t you just be amazed and move on?”
I wish the writers had taken Frank’s advice in that. But despite that blip, the vast majority of the movie is engaging and fun.
Then, for some reason, in the final 15 minute, it all just falls apart completely. It’s as if they ran out of ideas, or realized time was running short and they needed to wrap the story up in a hurry. The rushed ending kind of ruined the whole thing for me. It’s very unfortunate that the same intelligent direction and writing put into the first half of the movie didn’t carry out until the end.
When it comes to Disney. I tend to have high standards. Would I have been more forgiving if this had been put out by any other company? Probably. But if Disney is going to use a movie to advertise their name, it needs to be perfect.
Regardless, it’s a pleasant PG flick with an optimistic outlook. There are plenty of references to Disneyworld in it as well. Heck, the “It’s a small world ride’ is actually a portal to the future.
I knew that thing had to be good for something.
It’s a good effort, but for that ending. But even with a subpar finish, it’s a great movie that’s fun for parents and for kids. It will bring back shades of nostalgia for older viewers and keep younger viewers entertained as well.
WE GAVE IT: 4 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!