Tomorrowland: A Cool Journey.. to Disappointment

Before I start, I just want to give the team behind Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland major props for the vagueness of the film’s trailers. Going into this movie, I had more or less no idea what it was about. This is something that has become more and more rare in the movie industry these days, so it was refreshing to see. Honestly, I can easily say that it made the experience of the film much more enjoyable. So, kudos on that.

That being said, Tomorrowland was for sure not without its faults.

I don’t want to give away any of the plot, because like I said, one of the best parts about watching this was not knowing what’s going to happen next, but I’ll try to sum it all up vaguely to paint a picture. Basically, Tomorrowland (based on the Disneyland ride of the same name) follows Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) as she tries to find her way to Tomorrowland, after having caught a glimpse of it. She embarks on this journey with George Clooney’s character, Frank Walker, and Athena (Raffrey Cassidy). As far as the story is concerned, a major upside was the veil of intrigue it was wrapped in. I felt like I was going on the journey with the characters, and I enjoyed picking up the breadcrumbs that led both me and the characters to Tomorrowland. It was an enjoyable journey in a Disney way – a bit cheesy, but overall entertaining. This is not much of a spoiler, but they end up reaching their destination, which is, in my books, when the movie kind of derailed. At this point that I felt like I was being introduced to a needless, underdeveloped villain who was motivated by cliches that he beat me over the head with, to the point where I began to rapidly lose interest in the story.

All that being said, I had fun with most of the movie. Brad Bird (The Incredibles, The Iron Giant, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol) really is a great director, and the mediocre parts of this movie do not shake my belief in his abilities. The film he sets up with Tomorrowland has very interesting ideas behind it, is extremely ambitious and optimistic, and is quite visually appealing. When you watch any of his movies (including this one), the passion he exudes from behind the camera is undeniable. The atmosphere he creates with this story is both interesting and exciting.

The actors in this film also performed quite impressively. It was nice to see George Clooney in a non-playboy type role that he seemed quite invested in. His performance was actually full of energy, and it was clear he cared about the role, which made the whole experience a lot more enjoyable. I find that nothing takes me out of a movie quite like seeing an actor who obviously has no desire to be in it. It was also nice to see Britt Robertson delivering a good performance. I haven’t seen her in a major role, so I was unaware that she has the ability to act well. Perhaps this is more a qualm with the writers of the story than with her performances, but something that I found getting on my nerves about her character throughout the movie was her constant need to ask questions, so that other characters can explain it to her – and more importantly, to the audience. I understand that this movie is also for children, who need those explanations, but I found her general questioning attitude to be almost an insult to her apparent intelligence, as well as mine as an audience member.

Overall, I would say that, although it had a disappointing final act, Tomorrowland was enjoyable, well paced, and quite fun. Brad Bird has once again displayed his talent as a director, and the actors in the film likewise display their abilities. As far as Disney movies go, it’s nice to see something so imaginative, and I would still recommend this.

However, if you’re looking to see a good movie this week(end), and are thinking of watching Tomorrowland, don’t. Do yourself a favor and go see Mad Max: Fury Road (one of the best action movies of the past few decades).

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