Written by Christian James Haight
Walt Disney Studios have created a high standard for their original content. While keeping their movies family-oriented, they have managed to creatively open up a world of infinite possibilities where anything is possible. In their latest summer blockbuster, “Tomorrowland,” they keep exploring that idea through original means. Directed by Brad Bird, who is well known for “The Incredibles,” “Up” and “Ratatouille,” the movie is based off of one of the theme lands from the Disney’s parks around the world.
The real-life theme land of the same name is full of different attractions that portray interpretations of the future. The movie follows this concept, with the story surrounding a city within another dimension that all of these brilliant people from the past created. A place where greed, crime, famine and other distractions do not exist, thus allowing for those of brilliance to focus on amazing inventions that could go towards helping the world.
The film is an incredibly interesting concept, and with it following three characters and their adventure to eventually find their way into Tomorrowland, one would expect for a very fun and entertaining movie. “Tomorrowland” was successful in many ways, but it had trouble defining itself. By taking so many cliché moments that have been used over and over, a lot of the movie will make audiences feel like they’ve seen it all before.
It begins with a girl named Casey Newton, played by Britt Robertson, a high schooler who sees the same problematic future that everyone else sees. The world is dying and war is starting, everyone looks at this problem and gives up with any chance that society could save itself. Although when Casey looks at this problem, she doesn’t give up, she wants to find a solution. This thought process she processes is exactly what makes her “special” and an essential need for saving Tomorrowland.
So she’s recruited by an even younger girl named Athena, played by Raffey Cassidy, who sneakily gives her the necessary pin that allows only her to see into the other dimension of Tomorrowland when she touches it. However, she’s only given a certain amount of time to view the futuristic city, and after that, the pin becomes just the same as any other ordinary pin. So Casey does some research and finds a store that is looking to buy the pin, she travels to it in order to find some more information. From there, Casey and Athena are thrown into a crazy adventure where they find Frank Walker, played by George Clooney, and the three of them have to find their way into Tomorrowland in order to “fix” the world.
The problems within this movie aren’t the typical problems you find in a movie. About 80 percent of it is spent dealing with the fascination of Tomorrowland. Which works, on certain levels. The city is very interesting, and it would take an entire television series to really dive into everything about Tomorrowland. Although by dealing with the fascination for such a large amount of time, it leaves the feeling that even after an hour-and-forty minutes the audiences is still only watching the beginning. After that, the last 20 minutes is used to distinguish a bad guy and wrap up the movie. This leaves audiences feeling very rushed at the end, they’ve been told over and over about how amazing Tomorrowland is, but aren’t actually shown how great it can be due to the little time spent there.
The movie attempts to preach an important problem within today’s world, that if society doesn’t change, then we will destroy humanity on our own. While that may be a very important lesson, it’s been told so many times. Just like the rest of the movie, this is a very cliché lesson to give and in today’s world of entertainment, it’s going to need a few tweaks before it begins working again.
“Tomorrowland” is a kid’s movie, and for kids this movie has the potential to be great. The only thing is that Bird definitely tried to make this into a movie that adults would enjoy as well. With that he’s placed a lot of violence between humans and bad robots that are supposed to be protecting Tomorrowland. So typically it’s okay if these robots are cut in half, beaten with a bat or hit by a car because they’re robots. Though the robots in this movie come off as very real-like, and until the wires are shown, audiences will believe them to be human. This makes the violence look worse to kids because some may not even realize that these robots are in fact not human.
The main cast, along with the characters they portrayed was the best part of the film. The chemistry between them was surreal. Obviously, nothing needs to be said with Clooney’s ability to act. He gave his all to what could have been a very easy role and did not shy away from doing everything he could to make Frank into the hero he deserved to be. On the other hand, both Robertson and Cassidy have very little experience in the acting world, but they both still managed to kill it. It would have been just as satisfying for Bird to make Clooney into the main character, giving Robertson and Cassidy less screen time and less pressure to create a movie that Clooney would only co-star in. Instead, he gave those two girls a chance and they definitely rose to the occasion and created a fun adventure that Clooney added to, but wasn’t necessarily needed.
In the end, “Tomorrowland” did what it was supposed to and created a fun movie for the family. With Bird attempting to make it more than that, he only hurt the movie and possibly ruined what could have been another great Disney film. While he did manage to do some good things, Bird is best at what he does with animated films, there’s no need for him to try and do live-action as well.
- Director: Brad Bird
- Actors: George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy, Tim McGraw, Judy Greer, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan Michael-Key, Thomas Robinson
- Genre: Action and Adventure
- Run Time: 2 hours 10 minute
Pros:The actors were superb; the idea of Tomorrowland is very fascinating; the adventure throughout will keep anyone engaged.
Cons: A very rushed ending; may be considered too violent for some children; filled with overly clichéd lines.
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