MOVIE REVIEW: Tomorrowland

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By Dustin Heller

(May 22, 2015) – Tomorrowland is the new Disney sci-fi adventure movie from director Brad Bird.  Bird has quite a track record behind the camera with films such as The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol.  He has even won two Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature.  Bird co-wrote Tomorrowland with Lost showrunner Damon Lindelof.  The film stars George ClooneyBritt RobertsonHugh Laurie, Raffey Cassidy, Thomas RobinsonKathryn HahnTim McGrawKeegan-Michael Key, and Judy Greer.  The film shares the same name as the futuristic area in the Magic Kingdom at Disney World which also served as inspiration for the idea of the film.

Casey (Robertson) is a teenager who loves science and is very good at figuring things out.  When she is given a magical pin that transports her to another time and space, she goes on a search to find out how to get back there.  Her road leads her to Frank (Clooney), an inventor who visited the same magical place as a boy and has been trying to get back ever since.  Along with the help of Athena (Cassidy), the little girl that gave them both their special pins, they must work together to unlock the secrets of this mysterious land and in turn save the world.

I’m really not sure who the target audience is for a movie like Tomorrowland.  I’d guess preteen boys because of the sense of wonder (which really isn’t there like the trailer suggests), but even then, I don’t think they’d understand the plot.  That said, the target audience was definitely not myself and I was bored out of my mind throughout the entire film.  I first checked my watch about 45 minutes in hoping it was going to be over soon, but it dragged on for another hour and a half.

The majority of the film is spent on the build up, but when the payoff does come, it’s too late and not even worthwhile.  With the names involved with this movie, I really expected the end product to be much better.  Brad Bird has had a pretty incredible (pun intended) career to date, but this is definitely a black mark on his resume in my opinion.

As for Clooney, he is such a likable guy and extremely talented, but this movie felt like a cash grab to me.  I might be way off there, but it’s a big Disney movie and I’m sure he got paid handsomely for a less-than-stellar movie.  As you can probably tell by now, I wouldn’t recommend Tomorrowland to anyone because I’m not sure who would even like it.  Hopefully, Disney will right the ship with their other sci-fi film (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) coming out later this year.

Grade:  D-

Tomorrowland opens in theaters on Friday, May 22.