Tomorrowland (2015) Review

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Tomorrowland (2015) (aka Tomorrowland: A World Beyond in the UK)

Directed by Brad Bird

Starring:
George Clooney
Hugh Laurie
Britt Robertson
Raffey Cassidy
Thomas Robinson
Tim McGraw
Kathryn Hahn
Keegan-Michael Key

Running time: 130 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The film tells the story of a former boy genius (Clooney) and a young girl (Robertson), who travel to an ambiguous dimension known as “Tomorrowland”, where their actions directly affect the world and themselves.

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My Opinion:

Damn. Damn! Damn damn damn! Tomorrowland was one of my most anticipated movies this year. In fact, it’s the one I chose over everything else (even Star Wars!) when Luke over at Oracle Of Film asked the question: What is your most anticipated movie?”. Damn. Is it too late to change my answer?? What a disappointment.

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I desperately wanted to like this movie. It seemed to have everything going for it: Live action Disney sci-fi directed by Brad Bird! Everyone loves Bird’s Ratatouille and of course The Incredibles but my own personal favorite of his is The Iron Giant and I think I was hoping that Tomorrowland would have the heart that that one does. Unfortunately, Tomorrowland feels very cold & sterile and most of the characters, other than teenager Casey played by Britt Robertson, aren’t very likeable. In fact, George Clooney’s character is so grumpy & unlikeable at first that I wasn’t able to warm to him at all, especially after he knocks Casey off his front porch in a way that could’ve broken her damn neck. They explore his past to show us that he was once an optimistic “dreamer” but don’t really explain why all that changed. We’re given hints but not enough to make us care.

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I don’t know if this is SPOILER TERRITORY so look away for the rest of this paragraph if you still want to see this movie. A lot of the rather convoluted story revolves around an android girl and she’s almost as unlikeable as Clooney’s character. This movie reminded me in a lot of ways of A.I. Artificial Intelligence, which also felt very cold & sterile and was a bit convoluted and unsure of its message. However, Haley Joel Osment was at least very good as the “robot boy” and you cared about his character. It IS possible to make us like “robot people”! Loads of movies have managed it. Heck, even D.A.R.Y.L. managed it! (Yes! I got another D.A.R.Y.L. mention into one of my reviews!). But in Tomorrowland, I didn’t care at all about this little android girl and her world so I didn’t really care if Clooney’s & Robertson’s characters would be able to save it or not. I should point out, though, that I don’t think any of this was the fault of the actress (Raffey Cassidy) as I think she was very good in a poorly written role. Oh! By the way – Hugh Laurie is in this too in a rather stupid & pointless role. He’s really not even worth mentioning. Although I guess I just did…

I’ll mention that there’s quite a bit of violence against the androids, which may disturb young kids as the androids look completely human and the very young may not understand that they’re just robots. This includes one sudden & shocking Final Destination/Meet Joe Black moment that felt out of place in a Disney film.

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I’ll say that the one thing I did like about this was Britt Robertson. I know I watched this silly show that she was on for a while (The Secret Circle) and she was the one thing that really stood out. I’m not surprised that it seems she may be on her way to bigger roles now and, although she’s 25, she has a very young look which means she can play a teenager in something like this without it being embarrassing like Olivia Newton John in Grease. Her character helps save Tomorrowland from being a total disaster, at least.

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Summary:

Tomorrowland has a convoluted plot set in a cold & sterile environment where everyone (besides the main teenage girl) is unlikeable and the audience won’t be able to buy into them or care about their fate. Its story is far too complicated for young kids plus the level of violence was a bit surprising for a Disney “family film”. It’s hard to figure out who this movie is aimed at as the confusing story won’t make any kids like it (even I was confused by the end as to what exactly was going on) and there’s not enough here for adults to enjoy either. I can’t see this being a movie that most homes with kids will own and that will get played over & over again, which is unusual for a Disney film. I know it’s very unlikely that I’ll ever see it again (and I have no desire to) and I highly doubt my kid will ever ask to watch it over and over again like Frozen or most of the Pixar films. The movie’s message gets lost in the confusing plot but, basically, it’s saying that we should all be “dreamers” and full of hope. It’s unfortunate that Tomorrowland can’t achieve what it clearly wants to as it isn’t going to actually inspire anyone. I’ll say the final scene & image are pretty good & is the closest the movie comes to achieving its vision but it doesn’t come even close to making up for the previous two hours of the film. I’m very disappointed but it won’t make me give up on Brad Bird as I think he’s very talented and hopefully has another The Iron Giant in him. I blame Damon Lindelof.

My Rating: 5/10

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60 thoughts on “Tomorrowland (2015) Review

  1. So disappointing! I felt the same way about Chappie. I really wanted to like it but I just couldn’t. The Iron Giant is one of my favourite childhood movies too! Too bad Brad Bird couldn’t have pulled from that one.

    • I know! I had such high expectations for this! 😦 That’s funny – I actually really enjoyed Chappie. Maybe because I didn’t have high expectations for that like I did this. This is no Iron Giant but you can tell that it does TRY to have a very positive message like that one did. It just doesn’t work in Tomorrowland. 😦

  2. OK. I had to jump over most of this review, so I shall return at a later date for a proper read, but for now, all I will say is: drat! I really wanted this one to work out.

    • Yeah – my review is a little spoilery which I normally avoid but wanted to explain my reasons for disliking this. I’m so disappointed! 😦 I take it you’re still going to watch it. It’s not AWFUL. You might like it – I just had really high expectations. 😦

    • Thanks, Cindy! πŸ™‚ I know… This had SO much promise! I really thought it had the potential to be amazing with Brad Bird behind it. How disappointing. 😦

  3. I was really disappointed too but I actually disagree on the Athena front. For me that was the interesting story with Frank and Athena’s relationship. I wish the movie had forgotten Casey and been about them. There was so much that didn’t work. To begin with when you have Frank getting introduced to Tomorrowland as a kid and then have Casey getting introduced again it made it feel very episodic and stale. I hate to use the B word but I was bored.
    I was not really a Casey fan. I didn’t see why she was so special or smart. Couldn’t she have figured one thing out on her own? Instead she incessantly asks questions to the point of driving me nuts and she’s a bit too shriek and scared by everything. I don’t know her whole character bugged me.
    It looks good and I admire an original story. But it was on my Most Anticipated list as well. I was sure it was going to be awesome and instead I fell asleep during the Paris segment! Didn’t do it for me. Oh well.

    • Well, my hubby agrees with you! He thought Athena was the best thing about it & didn’t like Casey. I do think that actress was very good, though – I can see her being in a lot of other movies. I agree it probably would have been better to focus on one story. Instead, we get a little bit of Clooney’s story & a little bit of Robertson’s which made it hard for either character to be fully developed, I suppose. They really glossed over his relationship with Athena.

      • I agree on Robertson. I actually liked The Longest Ride. For a dopey romance it isn’t half bad. She’s good in that.

      • I’ll probably skip that one (I’m not girly enough! Lol). πŸ˜‰ But, yeah – she’s been decent in the few things I’ve seen her in.

      • Don’t blame you but for what it is it was better than I expected it to be. It would be a fun one to go to with my girlfriends.

  4. I can’t convince myself to watch this… I don’t know why but George Clooney irritates the shit out of me lately! I do like Brit Robertson though. But sounds like it’s not worth the time!

    • Unfortunately, I can’t really recommend this. 😦 It’s not AWFUL… Just boring. Aw – I normally like George Clooney & he has lovely silver fox hair but I didn’t like his character in this at all.

  5. Our thoughts are pretty much the same as this one. Now two of my most anticipated movies for the year didn’t quite live up to the hopes I had for them, and Mad Max: Fury Road may turn out to be my favorite movie of the year, even though I wasn’t super excited about it originally. My predictions for this year have gone completely out the window. πŸ˜‰ LOL

    • Lol. I know… I REALLY thought this had the potential to be amazing. 😦 What was your other most anticipated movie? I also wasn’t SUPER excited about Fury Road but, yeah – it’s my favorite film this year by FAR. πŸ™‚

      • My other one was Age of Ultron. I liked it and thought it was fun but didn’t enjoy it as much as the first Avengers or Guardians of the Galaxy. I’ve still got Star Wars though! πŸ˜‰

      • Hmm. Yeah, I wasn’t totally in love with Ultron but I’m getting a little superheroed-out. I definitely liked Guardians much more for sure! And, Yep – can’t wait for Star Wars!!! πŸ™‚

    • YES to The Iron Giant indeed! πŸ™‚ I was hoping Tomorrowland would have some of the “magic” that one does. It tried really hard to but, unfortunately, it fails. 😦

  6. OMG. cant believe this wasnt good. I havent read ur review yet (i never do) πŸ™‚ but I still have high hopes for this one (like Interstellar) πŸ™‚

    is it better than society at least?

  7. As a Hugh Laurie fan I’m sorry to see that this turned out so badly. Maybe when it becomes a free DVD at the library I’ll check it out. At least when it’s free it’ll be worth it. If it gets too bad I can always turn it off and return it early.

    • Yeah…. I’m sorry to say that it was disappointing & his character especially seemed quite pointless. 😦 It’s not a “bad” movie but it’s certainly one you don’t have to rush out to see – it can be watched at home. πŸ™‚

  8. Ahhh the joy of cinema, it’s like we watched a different film. I would like to offer an alternative view of the movie. I think Tomorrowland does a tremendous job of capturing the futuristic optimism of the 1960’s which is a quintessential part of that part of the park if you’ve visited Disneyland. I think all of the performances are great, especially the two young ladies, and it made a pleasant change to see with film with so much positivity – goes to show a science fiction movie doesn’t have to be set in a dystopian future. In what hasn’t been a great year for cinema Tomorrowland is one of the few highlights.

    • I’ve not been to Disneyland so maybe it didn’t help that that means nothing to me, I suppose. Isn’t this still kind of a dystopian film, though? It does offer HOPE for a non-dystopian future, I guess. I’m a big fan of “dystopian future” movies, though, so I suppose maybe this more “positive” sci-fi didn’t appeal to me quite as much. However, my favorite genre of all is just all sci-fi in general and, although this movie LOOKS very pretty, I don’t think it comes even close to all the greatest sci-fi films out there. I appreciate the effort they’ve put into the movie but I just found the story too messy (and confusing) and most of the characters too unlikeable to really be able to buy into the world they created for this film. I don’t know…. I just had VERY high expectations for this based on Bird’s other work and based on my very favorite animated movie (WALL-E), which I think is a far superior film to Tomorrowland & has the same sense of “hope” & positivity.

      • I’m always prepared to accept the criticism that if I buy into the world created on screen I can be more forgiving or blind to other things. That being said WALL-E is just a little bit special. Very much agree on that.

      • I do love when I can buy into a movie’s world. I’m glad that happened for you with Tomorrowland. I love movies like that. And WALL-E is very special indeed. πŸ™‚

  9. Haha, I think what I love most about this review is that I can really feel your pain & disappointment… Damn Damn :-))))) Did you change your “most anticipated film” choice eventually?

    • Sorry for the late reply – I missed a bunch of the comments on this review! Lol – I did make it pretty obvious just HOW disappointed I was by this film. πŸ˜‰ Well… my most anticipated movie is The Force Awakens now although, if I were to be 100% honest, it’s probably actually Minions!!!! Lol. Love those little dudes… πŸ˜‰

      • Yes, Minions are VERY cute indeed!!!
        Regarding disappointing movies, well, I guess sometimes we have to learn the hard way simply by watching them all the way through… Hope you won’t experience this again :-))))))

      • It would be nice to think I’ll never be disappointed by a movie ever again! Probably unlikely, though…. 😦 lol. (But I have a feeling that I won’t be disappointed by Minions) πŸ˜‰

  10. I agree–SUCH a disappointment. So hollow, so generic, so…just…why? Lol. It’s funny how Disney consistently knocks it out of the park with their animated stuff, but when it comes to their live-action endeavors they really struggle. Like, I enjoyed Saving Mr. Banks quite a bit last year, but the last live-action one where I thought, “This is really awesome!” was probably the first Pirates…Anyway, good review, lady! I’m gonna try to type something up for this one later this week. Not looking forward to it. :/

    • Cara! Sorry for the late reply – I missed a bunch of the comments on this review! I’ll read your review when I get back on the blogging thing again soon – you know I always catch up on anything I may have missed. πŸ™‚ I’m so disappointed!!!! This had the potential for greatness! 😦 Yeah… the first Pirates was good fun (but, man – they should have quit after one!). I loved Tron: Legacy but I know that wasn’t for everyone & didn’t do well (which is why they’re now not making a third. Damn). But the animated stuff is great! I really wish they hadn’t gotten Tomorrowland so wrong… 😦

  11. So disappointing! I thought this would be a good one. Dammit I really wanted to see it and I do remember that it was your most anticipated movie. Mine was Interstellar. What does that say about our choices?!

  12. Pingback: My Top Ten Movies With Different Titles Outside The U.S. | Cinema Parrot Disco

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