Going into this movie my expectations were all over the place. I hadn’t been impressed with any of the initial previews, so my hopes were low originally. Then I saw the preview at Epcot and really enjoyed it, so they went back up. Then I read the prequel book Before Tomorrowland, and found it a bit confusing. So I really didn’t know what to expect going into the film.
It’s basically about a girl named Casey who finds this pin which shows her a futuristic looking world when she touches it (as you’ve probably seen in the previews). The pin, a girl named Athena, and a series of events lead her to meet Frank, played by George Clooney. It becomes obvious to Frank and Athena that there is something very special about Casey and particularly about her optimism for the future, so they take her to the world of Tomorrowland, where they’re hoping she can fix the problems both in that world and ours.
To say anything else would provide spoilers so I’ll avoid it, but plenty of other exciting and sci-fi type things happen.
Overall, I found the story to be engaging and interesting. It got a little confusing in parts for me, particularly the ending. Like many sci-fi movies, there were some questionable technological explanations for things that happened, but I try to accept it and move on. It was also definitely funny in parts. And the first 10 or so minutes of the film, which takes place at the 1964 World’s Fair, was really fascinating to watch with all of the Disney references. That may have been my favorite part.
I really like the message that the film seems to be giving out as well, which is along the lines of “never give up.” It’s also about being positive, trying to see a brighter side to things, and trying to fix issues despite how bleak they look. Casey sits through classes at school where teachers talk about dystopian futures, the polar ice caps melting, etc., and she attempts to raise her hand each time and ask, “Yeah, but how can we fix it?” There were times like this when the message of the film feels a little more preachy than I would like it to be, but it’s a good message.
George Clooney does a fantastic job as Frank, who has become a bit of a hardened pessimist and no longer the bright eyed child that he used to be. His character clearly has a lot of layers and depth that aren’t given a chance to fully come out in the movie, but he plays the part well to try and show some of that. Britt Robertson does a fine job as Casey, though she occasionally comes off as overbearingly precocious – but that may just be her take on this genius-type teenager.
I did have a few issues with it though, aside from some of it being a little confusing. The biggest thing was that it felt like a lot happened at the end, and not much for the first 1 1/2 hours. I didn’t feel bored at all, but we didn’t even get to Tomorrowland til the end, and there was so much there I was interested in that I wanted to see much more of that! And less of Casey and Athena driving around in a truck to find Frank. It’s also worth noting that the film is a little more violent than I expected. There were a lot of fight scenes, and while many of them are with robots, they are robots that look just like humans. I did witness one child, about 7, coming out of the theater looking upset and saying that the movie scared him. So despite the PG rating if you have a child that is more sensitive to this sort of thing I might not bring them.
Ultimately Tomorrowland seems to b full of innovative ideas, but it left me feeling like I only got a see a small piece of what was in Brad Bird’s brain. While an enjoyable movie, it’s not one that I feel compelled to ever go back and watch again. I’m glad I saw it once, but that’s enough for me.
Have you seen the film yet? What did you think of it?