Mini-Review Monday: Tomorrowland

Note: Sorry for this post being 12 hours later than usual. Like I’ve said many times before, I’m a poor planner.

TomorrowlandRelease: May 22, 2015

Story: An optimistic and brilliant 20-something science lover, Cassie Newton (Britt Robinson), needs the help of a former boy genius and now 50 year-old man, Frank Walker (George Clooney). As a lighthearted and hopeful boy who visits Disneyland to show a grumpy man, David Nixon (played by Hugh Laurie), his jetpack, Frank has a run-in with a mysterious young girl, Athena (played by Raffey Cassidy), that leads him to a fantastic world of tomorrow. Something goes terribly wrong, and when Cassie meets up with Frank, he’s disillusioned and has shut the rest of the world out. Cassie has to force him away from his TV monitors playing around the world news of how abysmal the world has become. With help from Frank and Athena (who hasn’t aged a day), Cassie must travel to Tomorrowland and find out what David Nixon, a resident and the man in charge, is up to. In their way are killer robots and the pessimism of a man who’s given up on the world. The consequences for the three’s failure will be dire.

Thought: I love Brad Bird (The Incredibles, The Iron Giant, Ratatouille, and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol). He’s one of the best directors working today. He knows what goes into making a good story and is efficient and skilled at putting together a movie. Sadly, all men have their misses. I enjoyed Ratatouille but it failed to live up to the greatness of his previous Pixar film, The Incredibles, just like his second live-action film, Tomorrowland, doesn’t live up to his first, Ghost Protocol.

The upbeat message of Tomorrowland is an important one for today’s often downbeat world, the science fiction city of Tomorrowland looks imaginative and straight out of your wildest Disney dreams, and the film is obviously filled with love by Bird. What ruins the movie, which has a fine story in concept, is its pacing. The movie has little more than a first act. What takes up the bulk of the plot (introducing the world, characters, and story) should’ve been handled in the first 45 minutes to an hour (at the most). But it’s not until we have, I believe, 30 minutes left that we get to the point that should’ve been the beginning of act two. The problem is introduced in this final half-hour and is quickly resolved after the second act VERY quickly turns into the third. The unbalanced plot progression produces the feeling that the movie never gets going until the the tail end the film. All the dragging and then rushing, results in the viewer never getting the time to get a satisfiable look at the city and culture of Tomorrowland beyond the opening flashback with young Frank.

It’s not a terrible watch. So I wouldn’t heavily discourage seeing it. You should probably just focus on the message, the visuals, and imagination and not on the horrible plotting.

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