TOMORROWLAND, the newest film from Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof, has been long anticipated. Starring George Clooney, this movie promised “to take audiences on a thrill ride of nonstop adventures through new dimensions that have only been dreamed of.” Unfortunately, that did not happen for this neurotic Disney mom(NDM).
Generally, I am not one to watch movie trailers beforehand. I do not like to anticipate where the trailer I fell in love with fits into the movie. I want to be immersed in the whole experience. An extended trailer of TOMORROWLAND was offered at Epcot, and I had to go. I wanted to see what all the buzz surrounding this movie was about. The extended trailer focused on the World’s Fair portion of the movie, and being the nostalgia queen that I am, I was hooked. I needed more of this fantastic era. Tomorrowland, the city, seemed beautiful, and I wanted to know more.
The movie starts off in the present day, with Frank(George Clooney) starting to tell a story. As he is recalling how everything was “different,” we flash back to the past. Captivated, and deeply inhaling every bit of the 1964 World’s Fair that I can, just a few teasing moments are spent there. And that was all. But for tad bit, the architecture, the clothes, the people, and the cameo of White Rabbit and Big Bad Wolf were wonderful. As quickly as they appeared on the screen, they disappeared. I felt as though I needed more of the back story. Without it, it was hard to identify with Frank. As the movie progressed, I couldn’t help but wonder about Frank’s back story. What happened to Frank? Why was he so bitter? Why didn’t he stay? Or, how did he get back to present day? Too much wondering was going on during this lengthy movie.
The female lead, Casey(Britt Robertson), is described as a “bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity.” It was refreshing to have a strong, smart female lead with no romantic interests whatsoever. Casey is a smart, confident girl, helping her father(Tim McGraw, y’all-did you know?!?) raise her younger brother. While it is not stated that her mother is not in their lives, it can be assumed by her caring nature. Of course, since I was still wondering about Frank, I was now wondering about her, although it was not quite as important as knowing Frank’s back story.
The movie continues on a high speed chase through present day that frequently gets lost. I was left wondering, again. When will we get to Tomorrowland? This place, that dreams are made of, made a few cameo spots in the film. And. That. Was. It. It was hard to appreciate what this place was like. Why were they compelled to be there? What had happened that caused the “men-in-black” type people to chase after Casey and Athena(Raffey Cassidy)?
A few highlights that you should not miss if you see this movie:
- Raffey Cassidy excels at her role as Athena. I will not reveal any spoilers, but know that this 12 year old girl mastered her role.
- Star Wars collectibles make cameo appearances.
- Space Mountain also makes a few appearances.
- Casey lives in Brevard Co. Florida, and there is a shout out to Orlando.
- You will never ride “It’s a Small World” the same way again.
- Did I already mention Tim McGraw is in this film?
A few answers were revealed at the end of the movie(130 minutes), if you pay close enough attention. While it had a great message of hope for humankind, I did not feel inspired when it was over. In the end, I felt let down by this film. I wanted more of 1964 and young Frank. I wanted to see more of how Tomorrowland functioned as a city. I felt that the “shoot-em-up, chase-em-down” parts of this movie were a little much for an inspirational movie with a powerful message.
Walking out of the theater, I saw a movie poster for TOMORROWLAND. It was a picture of a rocket, with the phrase, “Remember the Future.” This is a powerful message that should not be forgotten.
Disclosure: I was invited to see TOMORROWLAND for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.