Tomorrowland Review

tomorrowland-posterIt’s very interesting that I would post about boring movies just last weekend and today I would see a movie that belonged on that list.  I’m sorry friends I keep it real but I fell asleep for about a minute in Tomorrowland. As a movie on my ‘So excited!!!- I’m on board and anxiously awaiting these films’ list for 2015 it was a big disappointment. Before I vent a little of my problems with the movie I’ll say a few positives.  The world building is beautiful and I admire Brad Bird in trying to tell an original story. tomorrowland2I also liked the little winks at the Disney park and original attractions like the Carousel of Progress song. tomorrowland7Raffedy Cassidy is very good as an AI recruiter of geniuses for Tomorrowland named Athena. She is the only complex character in the movie.  (My mind started to wander and I wondered if she is the child version of Ava in Ex-Machina😉 ) That said- there are a lot of problems. First it starts out too episodic, like an episode of a TV show and not a movie.  We get a long segment with George Clooney as a kid and his introduction into Tomorrowland. We get all the awe and wonder of the land and learn it is a place for the brightest. tomorrowlandThe problem is when we get introduced to Casey played by Brit Robertson she goes through the same introductions which makes it again feel episodic and slow. Plus, with Clooney’s child character we see his invention.  It’s clear he is smart. With Casey we see her tell her father where to put an electrical wire and she can run a helicopter from her phone.  That’s about it.  People keep saying she’s a unique genius but I never saw it. The whole Savior trope is twaddled out and I had no idea why.  Why was she so special?  Most of the time she was either asking questions (seriously you’d think a genius could figure out a few things on her own) or shrieking at some shock. I normally don’t use gifs but this one was so perfect.  She’s like this the entire movie. tomorrowland5With a movie like this you have to feel emotionally connected to the characters and I didn’t.  Clooney is miscast as a reclusive genius trying to keep tabs on the world after being exiled from Tomorrowland. He’s just not nerdy enough.   He’s also missing for long chunks of the movie so we can’t feel that attached to him. tomorrowland3Kathryn Hahn and Keegan-Michael Key are fun as novelty store owners but they are in the film far too briefly. tomorrowland6There are two long battle sequences I guess you’d call them with Casey and Frank dodging the robots and both are boring.  Even a long scene at the Eiffel Tower with a rocket which is supposed to be exciting was so repetitive of other scenes that it is where I fell asleep. tomorrowland8And then the ending is extremely trite and corny.  It just doesn’t work.  Hugh Laurie is okay as the bad guy but we don’t get to know him well and isn’t given much to do.  That might sound like a spoiler but it is so obvious he is the bad guy. tomorrowland4I am probably one of the few people who will give Tomorrowland a lower score than Jupiter Ascending.  Cry foul all you want but I was more entertained by JA.  It made me laugh.  It’s in on the joke.  It’s campy and ridiculous.  This is just blah. JA even has stronger world building than this.  I was really let down by Tomorrowland.

This is going to sound like a nitpick but another thing that bothered me is the sound mixing is very badly done.  Whenever there is a fight the sounds of a punch or kick was way too loud which had a jarring effect. All the sound effects were too loud. There is a segment that kids will like with the young Clooney but the blaring action will be too much for small children and older kids I think will be bored. Sad day.  Very disappointed in Tomorrowland. 😦 Overall Grade- C-    Content Grade- B+

28 thoughts on “Tomorrowland Review

  1. I actually liked this film for it’s creativity, visuals, and possibly interesting storyline as well. Not the best, but I’d say enjoyable nonetheless. I give it maybe a B to say the least. Nevertheless, I respect your opinion once again and also great review!

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  2. I’m one of the few people who never really had much interest in seeing this film. Once I saw the first trailer, it didn’t seem like anything special or enjoyable. But, maybe if/when I see this, I’ll be surprised…or probably not.

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    1. Yeah some people like it so you never know but didnt do it for me. It’s the first disappointment I’ve had from Brad Bird so I think that’s part of it.

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      1. Really? Wow. Hard for me to imagine a better action movie. I thought the stunts were so well done. It was so well paced and exciting. Tom Cruise did most of his own stunts so it looked earthy and real. Minimal CGI. It reminded me of original Die Hard but better stunts

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      2. Guess not. I am that way with horror movies. I can still see the skill that can go into the good one’s but not my cup of tea.

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    1. Definitely go see it. I tried to mention a few positives. I’ve got to be honest but you never know. You could like it. Everyone likes different things. I was really looking forward to it too. It was on my most anticipated list. Sigh…

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  3. I didn’t love the film, but I actually didn’t find it boring like you did. Despite the flaws it did keep me engaged the whole time. I go back and forth with Casey’s character. You mentioned that she asks a lot of questions, but I actually think that’s something that makes her more special in some ways – so many people are afraid to ask questions in fear of being wrong. Sometimes the best thing you can do is ask a question (like Casey’s “Yeah, but how do we fix it?” schtick). I would have liked to have explored Tomorrowland more, but I appreciated the message the film sends overall.

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    1. That’s a very good point. I hadn’t thought of Casey in that way. I guess to me to be smart you have to be a bit more of a risk taker and you won’t always have all the questions answered. For someone so brilliant she never figured anything out on her own. Asking questions is good but you should also do some of the answering. Maybe if she had been a little kid it might have annoyed me a little less but you make a solid point. Interesting.

      The message is good in the end. Didn’t you think it was laid on a little thick though? I didn’t give it an F so I saw some value in it. I listed some positives.

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      1. Yeah, it was definitely a preachy sort of message – I mentioned that in my own review. I won’t complain too much since I do agree with it, but I think they could have done it in a subtle and more effective way.

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      2. I agree with everything you just said. It is a good message for sure- a bit heavy handed in the delivery but good.

        My problem is I wasn’t emotionally connected to the characters, which is I think what made it feel boring for me. After all, I loved the very slow Interstellar because I felt a connection to Murphy. Oh well. They tried something and I give them props for that.

        I do think it was a mistake to introduce one character to Tomorrowland and then introduce another character to it. I wish the whole movie had been about the Clooney character and his relationship with Athena. That was a lot more interesting than anything we got with Casey IMO.

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  4. Hey there! It’s been a while, but I’m pleased you finally got round to seeing Tomorrowland. I know people seem to be split down the middle on this film, but honestly, I’m coming down on the side of the fans – I had a lot of fun with this one! I give credit to its visual creativity, Brad Bird’s seamless direction and to the actors who do generally carry the film, and of course it’s message is a pretty big one for a Disney film, but the execution by the end was too preachy. I think by the time Act 3 rolls around, Damon Lindelof’s penchant for disappointing resolutions kicked in again. I know you mentioned Clooney as miscast, but I really have to disagree – as a child of the 60s (Clooney, not myself – I’m 22), I do see that strange combination of jadedness and potential for optimism in him, Britt Robertson might not have had too much to do as Casey but I thought she was a likeable enough lead.

    I’m not 100% sure how kids are reacting to this film, but to be honest I think Bird made it more for people of his age and generation rather than children, because it carries so much nostalgia and the trappings of a supposedly more optimistic time period that it seems to be part of the reason why it’s having trouble finding its audience. I do have a much more thorough review of why I personally enjoyed Tomorrowland if you’re curious: (I do apologize for it’s length however)

    http://letterboxd.com/o_stainton92/film/tomorrowland/

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  5. I will definitely read your review. Thanks for commenting . It’s certainly a valid response and I can see how someone would feel that way. What can I say but that it made me nod off? I was bored and there’s no getting around that. I felt it was very episodic with us seeing young Frank get introduced to Tomorrowland and then Casey. She really annoyed me and I just didn’t feel that Clooney was nerdy enough for the part. But even with all of that it just didn’t draw me in. I wish it had. I really wanted it too.
    I’m really glad it worked for you. It certainly looks nice and does have some of that nostalgic feel especially in the early young Frank segments. I wish they had focused more on Athena who I really liked.
    Oh well. Win some, you lose some. I completely respect your opinion on it and will comment on your longer review in a bit.

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    1. I see where you’re coming from about Clooney’s appearance as the older Frank not seeming nerdy enough for a kid who was once a boy genius, but the impression I got was that after being banished from Tomorrowland, Frank was basically living life on the edge after having his chances at a better life destroyed and became as gruff and cantankerous as he was in the film.

      I didn’t feel like the film was being episodic in its storytelling, I mean it’s long, but there was a lot of backstory to establish and despite that I wasn’t bored because I wanted to find out how the characters were going to solve the mystery. Maybe you’re right that it should have been trimmed down from two hours, and maybe if it was just young Frank and Athena it might have been more straightforward. I will say however that the beginning where Frank and Casey argue over who gets to tell the story did leave me very worried that it was going to be them arguing back and forth and interrupting the narrative (just like The Lone Ranger), but luckily it wasn’t so.

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      1. The film being too long isn’t what made it boring. I loved Boyhood and that was nearly 3 hours. I just didn’t feel engaged with the characters and found the story kind of maudlin and repetitive. When I say episodic I mean that we would get one story or message and then we would get it again and again. Like we get the battle at the house that wasn’t really that exciting. And then we get the battle at Paris- essentially the same kind of scene with a different background.

        It’s not like it is a movie I hate. It didn’t get a D or F after all but I was disappointed. Usually Brad Bird is so great at mixing an interesting setting with characters I LOVE. This one just didn’t do it for me on either level and I was disappointed. But I’m glad you loved it. That’s awesome. A lot of love went into it so I’m glad.

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      2. Okay, I think I understand a lot better now. One thing’s certain anyway, whether I like the film or not ‘Tomorrowland’ IS Brad Bird’s weakest film to date, not terrible – just not as amazing as his last four movies.

        Bird is like the new Steven Spielberg, all of his films have some degree of admirable quality to them even if it doesn’t always pan out well; will this be Bird’s ‘1941’ and fade into obscurity and ignominy, or his ‘Hook’ in which a cult following forms that elevates the film for future generations? Only time will tell.

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      3. That’s a good comparison with Spielberg and Hook. It could be Tomorrowland will have legs and develop a following. It doesn’t seem quite out there enough for that kind of cult status but you never know. (I totally see that happening with Jupiter Ascending which was nutty and over the top).

        I’m still a massive Brad Bird fan and this still showed a bold idea and attempt. His other movies are masterpieces so I’ll give him one ambitious miss. Just hopefully it won’t derail his creativity like The Village hurt Shyamalan. He never has gotten the mojo back after the public didn’t like his terrible film.

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