Starring Britt Robertson, George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Tim McGraw, Kathryn Hahn, Judy Greer
Call me old fashioned, but I like my scripts based on something more than just an amusement ride. I hear that Tomorrowland continues to be one of Disneyland’s most popular attractions and the Memorial Day family friendly film should cater to those wanting a film that is comfortable and obvious.
Brad Bird’s script is too complex and complicated for the under seven crowd (I heard them asking many questions during the screening) and a boring lull for adults (I was fighting to stay awake). Tomorrowland is The Matrix for kids and by the time Oscar winner George Clooney (The Descendants) is flying in a bathtub to escape smiling black suits it loses all form of maturity.
Tomorrowland was the new frontier and in 1964 at the World Fair in New York 10-year-old Frank Walker (Thomas Robinson) arrived to present the jet pack he created from an old Electrolux vacuum cleaner. His creativity catches the eye of young Athena (Cassidy) who isn’t what she seems. She recruits Frank and opens his eyes to the fantasy of the future. Fast forward about 50 years and Athena is still trying to recruit humans with overly active imaginations, which is where Casey Newton (Robertson) comes in, but now it’s to save the world and restart Tomorrowland, which has become a painful and distant memory to people like Frank (Clooney).
It’s the adults who will be bored as the majority of the film is spent talking about this future world and the end of our planet.
Reading about the history and complications with Tomorrowland theme parks from 1966 to present day was more interesting than anything I saw on the big screen (someone should make a movie about the headaches the parks have endured over the years). In the 1960’s when Walt Disney himself conceived of the futuristic project, it was supposed to represent the era of 1986, which became quickly outdated. “Something unusual is happening,” Casey says in the film, when in fact I didn’t see anything happening that I can’t find represented better somewhere else. For a Disney film aimed at sugar coating children with colorful images and happy endings, Tomorrowland does offer quite a bit of violence (laser blasters and never any blood). Clooney playing an old scrooge and Hugh Lurie use some adult language in the form of “hell” but the entire film should provide a two hour pacifier for most kids regardless of the questions they might have after.
It’s the adults who will be bored as the majority of the film is spent talking about this future world and the end of our planet, we quickly realize this is just another summer movie where earth is in need of saving. Fresh off her forgettable romantic turn in the latest Nicholas Sparks film, Robertson (The Longest Ride) makes the jump from sorority girl to eager daddy’s girl as the films hero.
Bird is clearly a force when it comes to animated films like Ratatouille and The Incredibles, but with Tomorrowland ,his second live action, I don’t find his work appealing for mature audiences resistant to spoonful’s of happy ever after or phoned in performances from actors like Clooney or Laurie check marking the family film on their resume.
Tomorrow has never been more uninteresting.