Scott Says Disney’s TOMORROWLAND is a Moderately Entertaining Disappointment

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FILM REVIEW: TOMORROWLAND

BY SCOTT PETERSON

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When your name is Brad Bird and you have a bunch of classic films like The Iron Giant, Ratatouille, The Incredibles and to a lesser extent Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol piled up on your resume, there is a certain level of anticipation attached to any film with his name on the marquee.  For me, Tomorrowland was no different. Sure it’s taking the Disney theme park route that the ultra successful Pirates of the Caribbean franchise milked to death, but I don’t care if it’s a Brad Bird movie based on the spinning tea cups at Walt Disney World, I’m going to be invested.  That’s why Tomorrowland was such a mixed bag for me.  It is a very entertaining movie that moves along briskly (even with its 130 minute run time), but it’s just missing that Brad Bird seal of approval we have all grown accustomed to.

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The Mystery of Tomorrowland involves a young girl named Casey Newton ( Under the Dome’s Brit Robertson), the daughter of a recently laid of NASA engineer played by Tim Mcgraw. As you’ve probably seen in the film’s trailers, Casey is a troubled teen and upon her release from jail, there is a mysterious pin added in with the rest of her belongings. Every time Casey touches the pin, it transports her to a futuristic world that only she can see. Casey starts to do her own detective work and finds the crotchety recluse Frank ( George Clooney) who also has some unique history when it comes to the time transporting pin.Casey soon fins out that she has been hand picked by a talent scout/recruiter Athena ( Raffey Cassidy) whose sole job is to bring the brightest and best people to Tomorrowland, a world created by David Nix ( Hugh Laurie) that is designed to be free from war and destruction, a futuristic utopia.Both Casey and Frank set off on a journey to expose Tomorrowland and all of it’s secrets.

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Tomorrowland is a poor man’s Interstellar. I get what Disney is trying to do by throwing out afuturistic summer movie designed to entertain the masses and for the most part it somewhat succeeds. As with all of Brad Bird’s films, the visuals are fantastic and Clooney and Robertson seem to be enjoying the ride.  I prefaced this review with the high expectations Brad Bird’s name accompanies and for me, that was the problem with Tomorrowland.  His talent deserves much better than a Damon Lindelof script based on an outdated ride at Disney World. Tomorrowland is a fine two hour summer diversions for the kiddos, but adults will find the film a tad bit preachy and tedious. If you are like me and want your moneys worth, go see Mad Max: Fury Road again and again. Let’s hope Tomorrowland was a bump in the road on the way to Bird’s upcoming The Incredibles 2.

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FINAL WORD: StarStarHalf StarEmpty Star