Released: May 22, 2015
Runtime: 130 Minutes
Ratatouille‘s Brad Bird (director and writer), LOST’s Damon Lindelof (writer), the legend George Clooney (actor) and Disney’s name on the package…what can possibly hold this movie down from being an instant hit? Well, several things, unfortunately. Tomorrowland was easily one of my most anticipated movies of 2015 and was marked on my calendar months in advance. It looked unique, magical and special but ended up being somewhat of a letdown.
The performances are solid all the way around, with the standout being young Raffey Cassidy as Athena. Clooney is great as usual as former boy genius Frank Walker. Britt Robertson is Casey Newton, a brilliant young science buff who craves adventure. The three embark on a quest to find answers to secrets in another land in time that previously existed in their memories. That is what makes up this fantasy adventure. Sure, the acting is fantastic, but sadly, the script falls short. There just isn’t enough magic or spark to keep things moving. With actors like these and a premise like this, you need better dialogue and storytelling. It is obviously disjointed and uneven. I kept waiting and waiting for that big moment, that big reveal, that glimpse at the apparently wondrous Tomorrowland, but it never came. I want to know more about this magical place, where it came from and what it is all about. I want to go there and explore. Sadly the film makers leave a lot on the table and miss a big opportunity to make this movie special and one of a kind, because the premise is there. If only the intrigue of it came into fruition.
Tomorrowland has some great moments here and there, but they are just delicious sprinkles on a generic sundae. There are some dazzling special effects and visual treats. There is a sense of wonder as you watch the movie. There are some ambitious and thought-provoking ideas. Hey, Tim McGraw isn’t half bad either! I also loved the fact that the movie wants to be innovative and great. The acting, premise, characters and presentation are all wonderful. What is most impressive is the truly smart idea of the pin and how if touched, can transport one to another place. I really thought that was the bait that made us bite. It’s cool! I also can’t forget another awesome moment that made me think of what Google maps could be like in the future (I won’t spoil it for you). Kudos to the film makers for several unexpected references to Star Wars. Gotta love that!
The hype built up for this movie was just over the top. I’m 72% sure that is one of the reasons I was let down. The magic and wonder it promised was just not fully realized, but instead we got an “okay” story in “okay” settings. We got a movie that thinks it is way cooler and inventive than it really is. Wake up Tomorrowland. Yes, you are imaginative, bold, daring, futuristic and talented. But don’t make promises you can’t keep and don’t fool us into thinking you are something that you are not. Tomorrowland isn’t a bad film, it’s just a slightly above average one.
3 out of 5