I like to keep our reviews as quick and to the point as I can, but I noticed that sometimes I’m probably getting too many details. And, as I’m certain you are as busy as I am, we’re going to start doing our movie reviews in a slightly different manner. From this point forward, we’ll publish one or two (or three or four if I can’t help myself!) paragraphs of information, along with a nice Infographic (who doesn’t love Infographics?!?) at the bottom of the review that will give you details about the movie so you can make a quick decision on if you would like to see it. It could help save you time, which is something I’m sure all of us are trying to do!
We’ve been hearing about Tomorrowland for several years beginning with a presentation at the D23 convention in 2013, and considering the extreme level of secrecy that surrounded this project, we felt a little underwhelmed with the final result. It’s not that it’s a bad movie at all. In fact, my family actually liked it, but that’s one of the dangers of creating so much anticipation with this type of marketing. If you aren’t careful, it can be much like the anticipation of anything you are looking forward to it; Christmas morning, a vacation or any other big event. You build it up so much that you can feel let down on the reality of the situation and that’s exactly what happened to us while watching this film. We had built it up into something that it couldn’t possibly be.
The movie begins with a flashback to 1964. A young inventor named Frank Walker (Thomas Robinson plays the role of the younger version of George Clooney’s adult character) attends the New York World’s Fair where he meets David Nix (Hugh Laurie) and a young girl named Athena (Raffey Cassidy). The adult doesn’t really like his jet pack (it doesn’t work quite right just yet) but the younger girl does. She gives him a special pin that’s embossed with a “T” symbol and tells him to sneak aboard the “It’s a Small World” attraction at the fair. He sneaks onto the ride where his pin is scanned and he is transported into a futuristic cityscape known as Tomorrowland.
The film is supposed to be lightly based on the futuristic themed land found at Disney theme parks called Tomorrowland. The original working title of the film was 1952, and I almost wish they had left the working film title as there isn’t really much of a connection to the theme parks. Lightly based is nearly “not based at all.” There’s a semi-hidden version of Space Mountain in the film; the aforementioned “It’s a Small World” attraction that debuted at the World’s Fair; “It’s a great big beautiful tomorrow” is playing when Frank arrives at the World’s Fair, and if you are unfamiliar with that song, it’s part of the song that is sung throughout the Carousel of Progress ride, which also debuted at the World’s Fair; a flying vehicle that looks vaguely like a monorail from the theme parks. That isn’t nearly enough, although based on some interviews, the upcoming DVD is said to include some scenes that were cut out of the final movie that contained many more references about the park.
I already mentioned that we thought the film was actually pretty good and contains a very blunt, not hidden at all, political message: global warming can be stopped if we choose to do it. The movie is actually quite long, and unnecessarily complicated for younger viewers, and more than a couple of scenes could have been cut. However, there are some very bright spots — the visuals, special effects and acting are all superb! George Clooney plays a great “grumpy” character and Britt Robinson provides a lot of energy to her role, the film keeps you entertained the entire time and the final moments of the movie are nearly perfect.