Review: ‘Tomorrowland’

Tomorrowland is the kind of movie you watch as a kid and love for your whole life, even though adults hated it when it came out.

It’s very imperfect, and the ending is truly atrocious and mishandled. But the good in Tomorrowland far outweighs the bad.

Specifically, this is a Brad Bird film through and through. The cinematography and grand vision behind the movie are unique and incredibly entertaining (isn’t that what a movie should be?) The action and set piece moments are beautifully shot and for once, I can say they’re inspiring.

The film’s saving grace is its superb writing, though I have to give the actors a lot of the credit here. The dialogue is good, but George Clooney, Britt Robertson, and newcomer Raffey Cassidy make it exceptional. Cassidy in particular is about to have a stellar career.

Perhaps I’m going easy on Tomorrowland due to my fondness for Brad Bird as a director and the fact that this film is wholly original (it’s no adaptation or remake). But I was honestly inspired by many moments in this film, even if they were a little uneven and went in strange directions. There’s still plenty to appreciate in this ambitious script of whimsy, and this is a film that kids shouldn’t miss.

Grade: B+. 

Disney's TOMORROWLAND

Extra credits

  • I just want to reiterate how enchanting Raffey Cassidy was in this film. Just please, Disney, hold off on shoehorning her into some kind of superhero role.
  • Hugh Laurie’s part in this film felt unfinished, much like the location of Tomorrowland itself. Still, he had some great lines as Governor Nix.
  • The house invasion scene is probably the film’s high point, and the set of moments in Tomorrowland that made me feel like a kid again. There’s so much potential in this source material.
  • I’ve been waiting for Britt Robertson to have a truly good performance since…eh…The Longest Ride. She’s great.
  • Yes, the overall message is pretty preachy, but it shouldn’t put anyone off. The “big idea” of Tomorrowland should resonate with everyone. We can and should do better.

Tomorrowland was directed and written by Brad Bird. It was also written by Damon Lindelof. It stars Britt Robertson as Casey Newton, George Clooney as Frank Walker, Hugh Laurie as David Nix, and Raffey Cassidy as Athena. It’s now playing in theaters everywhere.

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12 Replies to “Review: ‘Tomorrowland’”

  1. I love Iron Giant so I’ll definitely check this one out. Thanks for setting the expectations

  2. I saw this at a press screening and really liked it. I know the reviews have been pretty harsh but I don’t think it’s because they’re adults. I think it’s because critics just wanted this to be an amazing wow movie and it didn’t live up to that. Really it’s a great kids film that’s pretty memorable and super fun.

  3. It’s a shame it has a current 49 on Rotten Tomatoes but seeing that Maleficent got the same and I really enjoyed that film, hopefully I’ll enjoy this one. Reviews after all are subjective and with Brad Bird directing, I’m sure it’ll still be great. The Iron Giant is a personal favorite with the Incredibles and Ratatouille of course

  4. A B plus is a little to lenient towards this movie. Tomorrow is a theme park beautifully created in both Disney Land and Disney World. This movie just does not fit with the park’s attractions and entertainment. Sure the park had flaws, but everything does. Especially this movie! The movie’s ending was not well constructed and the story line had many flaws. The characters, although they were thoughtfully chosen, did not exactly fit well together in the film. There were some parts where I laughed, but this movie would recieve a C- in my book. Or in Rotten Tomatoe’s book, a D plus. By the way, adults don’t hate on everything kids like. Why the heck would you see so many families (with adults) going to Disney World? You don’t spend 2 grand for your kids! And Maleficent was harshly judged.

  5. “A B plus is a little to lenient towards this movie.”

    Well, that’s like uh, your opinion, man.

    And Jon never said adults hate on everything kids like…

    • Mockery is the sincerest form of flattery
      And besides, Jon is merely suggesting that parents would hate this movie when it came out
      Which is not true, even in the olden days (20 years ago) parents and adults loved movies such as this. Just me being a teenager who loves Disney, I did not like this. And it is my opinion.

  6. Tomorrowland is’t original. It’s based on the theme park land. I love Brad Bird(He made my favorite animated movie: The Incredibles.) but the guy has flaws and unfortunately, most of those flaws are shared by the horrible writer of this movie, Damon Lindelof which means that the two of them on the same movie just amplify each other’s bad habits. That said, I hope they make a sequel. Hell, I hope they make a trilogy. This seems like just the sort of bad movie that could be made good with some fleshing out and a better writer.

    • The theme park isn’t a story, it’s just an idea. Tomorrowland is an original story that draws upon that idea for inspiration. That’s a key difference, and the same applies to Pirates of the Caribbean.

      I don’t understand your assertion about Lindelof and Bird amplifying each other’s “bad habits.” Even Lindelof has great habits that could also be amplified. We’re talking about the same writer who pulled off Lost (even though he had trouble ending it), the first Star Trek (even though he had trouble continuing it with Into Darkness), and World War Z (even though he had trouble ending it).

      Yeah, so on the ending it part, we totally agree.

      • The thing is, I hated World War Z and didn’t really like the new Star Trek that much either. I kind of like Lost but otherwise, you’re pointing to things I hate as reasons for me not to hate.

  7. What I found disturbing about a film largely intended for children was its extreme violence in some scenes.
    For example, was it really necessary to kill those three cops?

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