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Movie Review – “Tomorrowland”

TwittReview – Tomorrowland is a truly fun, family friendly science fiction movie. George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Britt Robertson star! Grade: 4 out of 5 stars.

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Tomorrowland is a Brad Bird movie and there is no doubt about it. Like his other works (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, The Iron Giant, and The Incredibles) you get the fun and excitement in what you see in front of you to then lead to an awesome culmination sequence leading to the kicker at the end. Tomorrowland does not disappoint at all! Walt Disney would be proud of this movie and the message it delivers.

Overview: 

The story starts in 1964 at the World’s Fair as a young Frank Walker (Thomas Robinson) brings his invention to be judged. We are introduced to this by a voice over from George Clooney whom we learn is the older version of Frank Walker. The story shows us how a young Frank is brought into the world of Tomorrowland by Athena (Raffy Cassidy). Years later Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) is shown breaking into Cape Canaveral to stop the dismantling of the launch pad that her father (played by Tim McGraw) works on. She feels that if the project is halted her father will still have a job. Athena leaves a magical pin in Casey’s items so that when she finds it, she will be shown Tomorrowland.

Cut to the scene that we’ve all seen in the trailer – Casey at the police station finding the pin. When she touches it she is transported to an amazing world. She tries to make her way to Tomorrowland but each step she takes keeps having her run into real-world obstacles. Realizing that she needs an open area, Casey leaves the house one night trying to relocate Tomorrowland only to have it leave her in a swamp.

Looking online Casey finds that there is a collectibles store in Houston, TX that is looking for these pins. Looking for information of her own, Casey heads to Texas to get information and find her way back to Tomorrowland. This is where her story kicks into high gear as the store owners (played by the always funny Kathryn Hahn and Keegan-Michael Key) are really robots from Tomorrowland sent by Governor Nix (Hugh Laurie) to capture and or kill anyone that has one of the Tomorrowland pins. Athena rescues Casey in a very Terminator saving John Connor kind of way. In fact the only line missing was “come with me if you want to live”.  Athena takes Casey to Pennsylvania to find Frank Walker (George Clooney) as he knows the way back to Tomorrowland.

More robots come to capture Frank and Casey causing Frank’s house to be destroyed in the process of their escape. They find a worm-whole that transports them to Paris, France and the Eiffel Tower. It turns out that the Eiffel Tower contains a hidden rocket-ship that can be used to launch them into space giving the needed speed to burst through the space-time continuum and get into Tomorrowland.

What worked:

  • The visuals were very stunning. The look and feel of Tomorrowland felt like the vision that Walt Disney had for the land/rides. This was reflected early in the 1964 World’s Fair sequence with the various textures and sounds and the early Greayhound people mover. And you couldn’t have a World’s Fair without the “It’s a Small World” ride!
  • Speaking of “It’s a Small World” – who knew that this held a secrete entrance into Tomorrowland?? Very cool tie-in!
  • Young Frank’s adventures with his home grown rocket pack had a Rocketeer feel both in the real world and then again in the Tomorrowland adventure.
  • The Sci-Fi elements were great to actually see what a Science Fiction movie would feel like. There was fun in this movie that harks back to some early Disney movies such as Witch Mountain and The Cat from Outer Space.
  • The Terminator references were also quite cute.
  • Hugh Laurie was good as a bad guy. His smugness shined through and at the end you have to feel sorry for him and decisions he made that affected the past, present, and future of Tomorrowland.

What didn’t work:

  • From a story standpoint I didn’t find any faults with what was shown. Same for the Sci-Fi elements.

Final thoughts:

A fun movie that the whole family will enjoy. Combines action, adventure, and fun all into one package. Rated PG with a run time of 130 minutes.
Grade 4 out of 5.

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