Tomorrowland, the latest Disney sci-fi adventure starring George Clooney and directed by Brad Bird, the man behind Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol and The Incredibles.
With 49% on the Rotten Tomato Meter and generally mixed reviews, does Tomorrowland show us "a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" or a desolate wasteland of failed entertainment? Let's find out!
Directed by: Brad Bird
Genre: Sci-Fi, Adventure, Family
Release Date: May 22, 2015
Running Time: 130 minutes
MMPA rating: PG
The Good: Strong direction, Feels like a theme park ride, Ambitious idea, Excellent acting across the board, Entertaining action sequences, Fun gadgets, Somewhat interesting theme, Cool robots, Not terribly restricted by the PG rating, Star Wars reference,
The Bad: Somewhat clichéd Final Act, Clichéd message,
Plot Summary: Tomorrowland follows Casey Newton, a tech savvy teen, who is gets mixed up in a quest to find Tomorrowland.
Plot: 6.8/10- Tomorrowland's plot aims for the sky and, while it misfires towards the end, it hits the mark surprisingly well.
My favorite aspect is Tomorrowland's secret society revisionist history. There is so much hinted at throughout the film, and if you are familiar with real world history, it presents many fun ideas.
During the first two Acts, Tomorrowland is a blast to watch. It moves along at a relatively swift pace without slowing down too much. One event leads to another until the Final Act where the plot starts to falter. The ending feels rushed and wraps everything a little too cleanly. With that said, Tomorrowland manages to introduce some form of consequence, which almost every other Disney film fails to accomplish.
Thematically, Tomorrowland's basic idea is intriguing, to a degree. It presents interesting ideas and all comes together in the end. However, considering that it is attempting to tackle so many big ideas, it seems to hit the nail on the head a little too much.
Characterization: 6.5/10- Casey Newton is a decent main protagonist. She falls into the typical smart kid role, but there is nothing annoying or remarkable about her character.
Frank Walker is a more dynamic character. He plays the typical grumpy older guy role, yet his character receives a satisfying character arc by the end of the film. Athena is the type of character that you less you know going in the better. With that said, she is surprisingly likable throughout the film and has many of the best moments. Lastly, the antagonist is about as clichéd as they come. There is nothing original about the character or his motivations. He is just evil for the sake of being evil; typical Disney villain fare.
Direction: 8.2/10- Brad Bird's direction is one of the highlights of the film as a whole. He has proven to be a capable director, and while his writing on the film may be questionable, visually, Tomorrowland hits the mark.
Throughout the first two Acts, Tomorrowland feels like a Disney park ride in the best way possible. You can sometimes feel like you are along for the ride, as the film is surprisingly engaging. With that said, it certainly lacks suspense, but that is to be expected from such a film.
For a PG film, Brad Bird manages to deliver several impressive action sequences. The action might not be exceptional, but there is never shaky-cam, dark lighting, or any other major annoyances. The use of inventive and fun gadgets is the best aspect of the film as they add variety to one of the more notable action sequences of the film.
Acting: 7.7/10- George Clooney is a reliably high quality actor, providing he is not playing Batman, and his role of Frank Walker is no exception. He is almost like Cary Grant in that you know what to expect from him, and he delivers for sure this time.
Somehow, Britt Robertson completely had me fooled that was actually 18, when she is, in fact, 25! She did a great job at playing younger than her age. As for her performance, she did a fine job for the leading role; nothing more, nothing less.
Raffey Cassidy gives an excellent performance for a child playing a character much older than her appearance. She has excellent potential as a young actress in the future.
Special effects: 7.6/10- Tomorrowland's special effects are a bit of a mixed bag. Most scenes look wonderful, while others are just okay. However, when it really wants to create the sense of wonder and amazement, it definitely succeeds.
Soundtrack: 7.4/10- While watching the film, I thought the score sounded vaguely familiar, like it was a blend of Star Wars and the Star Trek, so it was no surprise that Michael Giacchino scored the film. His tracks convey the optimistic tone of theme of the film well with many fun and adventurous tracks.
Humor: 6.5/10- Despite having several scenes that made me laugh on the inside and occasionally out-loud, no one else in the theater other than the people I saw it with actually laughed, which is strange considering there are several laugh worthy moments.
Entertainment Value: 7.5/10- Tomorrowland is a fun film from beginning to end. You can sit back and just enjoy the show; I certainly did.
Overall: 6.7/10- Tomorrowland is an ambitious film, and while the writing falters towards the end, it is a fun ride that is worth price of admission, especially for sci-fi fans.
Closing comments: As for whether or not you should see the film in theaters, it all depends. If you were already excited to see the film, definitely go give a shot; it is a fun family flick. However, if you are on the fence, maybe you should wait for the rental.
Recommended for: Sci-Fi fans, Adventure fans, Families, Disney fans,
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