Tomorrowland (2015)

tomorrowland poster 2015 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Good cast and good looking

Story is better with Tomorrowland being a fantasy adventure instead of dark sci-fi

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Tomorrowland

Studio:  Walt Disney Pictures/A113/Babieka

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure/Family

Release Date(s):  May 9, 2015 (Premiere)/May 22, 2015 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG

tomorrowland world fair frank walker thomas walker

Wow…this movie is going to be a lot of fun…or not

Frank Walker (Thomas Robinson) found wonder at the 1964 World Fair, but then something happened that changed everything.  In 2015, Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) finds herself fighting a valiant fight to save the world and questions why no one else seems to care.  When she is contacted by a mysterious girl named Athena (Raffey Cassidy), Casey finds that there is a world beyond her own.  Ordered to find Frank (George Clooney), Casey finds that there is danger for everyone she knows…and no amount of positive thought can stop it.

Directed by Brad Bird (who scripted the film and story with Damon Lindelof and Jeff Jensen), Tomorrowland is an action adventure sci-fi fantasy.  The film takes its name from the Tomorrowland segment of the Disneyland theme parks.  The movie was met with so-so reviews and a lower than expected box office.

tomorrowland field britt robertson

The promise of fun…denied

Disney knows how to market itself.  With the success of Pirates of the Caribbean, other Disney properties seemed like even easier sells…a sci-fi movie by The Incredibles and The Iron Giant director Brad Bird seems like a no-brainer (especially after he proved he could do big action with Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol.  Unfortunately, the high potential of Tomorrowland never pans out.

The story is a bummer.  Humans are the bad guys and despite warnings, they continue to be self-destructive.  This isn’t a new idea, but it is pretty bleak for a Disney film.  In addition to the basic story, the film doesn’t seem to flow.  The wild and fun world of the future introduced in the beginning of the film is quickly forgotten and replaced with a more authoritarian and almost post-apocalyptic world that just lacks the fun promised by the movie.

The cast is good.  Young actors Britt Robertson and Raffey Cassidy are charming and stand their own with more seasoned actors George Clooney and Hugh Laurie (though Laurie feels under-utilized).  The small roles by Kathyrn Hahn and Keegan-Michael Key could have been expanded since they had a lot more personality than some of the other villains.  All the actors seem committed, but the basic story doesn’t help them.

tomorrowland kathryn hahn keegan michael key

Couldn’t these guys have been the villains?

Part of the problem is that the movie has a tricky balance with the action when it feels like the story is more sci-fi driven.  The sci-fi visuals work great as a Googie 1950s pop-fantasy world which Tomorrowland starts as.  This is where Tomorrowland works and the fun creates the energy…which it loses as the movie goes on.

Tomorrowland almost works.  The plot is too dark to be fun but too light to feel like it could thoroughly explore some of the concepts.  The movie feels like it really could have exploded with a sequel as the plans for Tomorrowland comes to fruition.  The high concept of actively policing and changing the world toes that dangerous line between dictatorship and socialism…which Disney would never have explored even if the movie was a success.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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