Disney’s “Tomorrowland” gives audiences a nostalgic glimpse of a more wholesome yesterday.
Long long ago in a cinematic time since forgotten, films had morality, family, and a sense of hopeful excitement. Disney’s “Tomorrowland” succeeds in bringing audiences the wholesome hope of yesteryear, but lulls in the middle make for a slow and sometimes boring experience.
This warm and fuzzy science fiction film blends mystery and adventure to bring a wide audience a slice of Disney’s past. With Brad Bird (“The Incredibles” and “Iron Giant”) at the helm, it’s no wonder this film has both a sense of wholesome optimism and modern action. “Tomorrowland“ is bold in the sense that it approaches issues and subjects commonly thought about, but rarely discussed in a mainstream forum.
The film follows the disgruntled Frank Walker (Clooney), a former boy-genius, and the quick-witted, wide-eyed and optimistically brainy Casey (Robertson) as they pursue the secrets of ‘Tomorrowland’ – a mysterious futuristic civilization found only in another dimension of time and space.
George Clooney, in my opinion, nails the crotchety old man bit. His character, Frank Walker, is a long-time dreamer that has become disillusioned by the hopeless decay of a futile future. Despite being disgruntled Clooney’s character never abandons his imaginative mind, one of the film’s core themes. The one minor problem with George Clooney playing the disgruntled old man is that he still too cool to fully appear uncertain or taxed by his surroundings. Although believable as a science whiz, Clooney always had a certain command and confidence in his actions that don’t necessarily supplement the impending uncertainty of the story. This, at times, detracts from the pace of the film by making some surprise moments of the film a bit more predictable.
A few of the films most notable performances belong to Hugh Laurie as David Nix (“House M.D.”), Britt Robertson as Casey Newton and Raffey Cassidy as Athena.
Hugh Laurie is a personal favorite, and he stayed true to his past on-screen successes, giving a believable and driving performance. Britt Robertson, who is debatably the Main Character (As the story switches between Frank and Casey), gave a perfectly youthfully optimistic performance to counter Clooney’s old and cynical performance.
A real stand-out in the film was Raffey Cassidy’s Athena. Cassidy’s performance was flawless, injecting the right emotion for each and every scene. The film often used the Athena character to develop the back-story of both Clooney and Robertson’s characters, which gave her an ample amount of screen time with which she excelled.
While conceptually entertaining, the film had some mis-steps and lulls in between it’s explosive beginning and stellar ending. Tomorrowland has a great premise, but the premise does not have enough to it to be stretched over two hours. This causes a sagging middle, which did not maintain the same vigor and level of entertainment quality enjoyed in the beginning and the end of the film.
Although it’s refreshing to see a film that is heavy on the message and lighter on the action, the films message was also often lost in the middle of the film. This shortcoming can be attributed to the central premises being stretched too far or a few scenes that were colorful but unnecessary, somewhat clouding the cinematic message.
Where “Tomorrowland” delivers is in the mystery and innovative outlook of the ‘Tomorrow.’ At times the film takes audiences to the heart of Orlando, feeling as if we are inside of a Disney World Theme Park. We see hints and peeks of Epcot, Magic Kingdom and beyond, which adds to the wide-eyed youthful texture and wholesome quality of the film.
“Tomorrowland” is definitely a film that I would recommend to others to watch, however it would probably be a while before I myself watch the film again. Although visually enjoyable and thematically pleasing, this Disney film doesn’t leave audiences with much substance to come back time and again.
- Entertainment Value
Disney's "Tomorrowland" definitely takes audiences back to a more wholesome and family oriented time in cinema. With allusions to cinematic classics such as "Rocketeer", this film is a fun and thought-provoking experience for children of all ages.
If you want leave the theater with a sense of joy and optimism, then "Tomorrowland" is the movie to see. if you're looking for nonstop action and more adult themes, then this development heavy wholesome film is probably not your cup of tea.