If you hadn’t already heard, director Brad Bird had the opportunity to direct ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ but decided to direct ‘Tomorrowland’ instead. Before you start calling him every type of “you’re dumb!” name in the book, maybe you should see what his reasoning was (right here)….you click the link yet?… Now that you’re in the know, you can call him whatever you want. Even though hindsight is 20/20, Bird is probably wishing he attached himself to the ‘Star Wars’ instead, the guaranteed to be more successful choice, while Disney is just wishing they never made the movie in the first place…you know, seeing how it was a big ol’ bomb (read right here). But even though ‘Tomorrowland’ was a mistake for some of the parties involved, the more important thing about this whole situation is…what did I think about it.
Casey Newton (Britt Robertson), a very smart trouble-maker, is one of the very few people chosen to receive this pin that, when you touch it, shows you this world located in another dimension called “Tomorrowland”. Once Casey realizes she has this dangerous pin (I mean when you touch it, you think you’re in that world but you’re really not so you could be touching the pin while walking in the middle of street but not know you’re in the middle of the street. you could be in some cool looking building in this other world but that doesn’t matter because you’re actually in the middle of the street about to get ran over by a gigantic truck. that’s why it’s a dangerous pin!) she sets out to learn more about it and how to get to this “Tomorrowland” place. Of course it’s not that easy or simple. So along the way she gets help from a previous visitor of this other world, Frank Walker (George Clooney). Together the two set out to find “Tomorrowland” but of course you know a place like this has some secrets! So add “finding out those secrets and how to deal with those secrets” to their to-do list.
Yeah, I Liked That
What I liked about ‘Tomorrowland’ primarily takes place in the first half of the movie so that’s basically telling you something about this movie already. But let’s just stay on the first half right now. That chunk of the movie had the entertainment value that, if carried through the rest of the movie, would equal a cool summer movie that was actually original and not a sequel or reboot or something like that (not saying I have a problem with those at all though). But let me not sway away from the first half, let me stay on topic. The first half did a good job introducing the audience to a cool looking “Tomorrowland” that I THOUGHT we would be seeing a lot of or even some of throughout the movie. It was definitely a place I wouldn’t mind visiting if I had the chance to. Some peeks of “Tomorrowland” come when Casey first touches the magical/dangerous pin. But we not only get a glimpse at the cool other world, we also get a chance to laugh a little bit. Seeing how Casey adjusts to using this magical/dangerous pin and where it “accidentally” takes her while she’s holding it gave me a few chuckles.
My favorite character from the movie has to be Athena (Raffey Cassidy), easily. Her interactions with Casey made for some fun moments (not her moments with Frank though. those were just disgusting however you want slice because she’s a little girl…kind of…and they were having “we used to have feelings for each other” conversations). She was also just a cool character because, since she was a robot, she reminded me of like a kid terminator the way she performed in the few cool action scenes. Cassidy did a solid job portraying the attitude of a robot all while giving off the vibe that she has been around for awhile even though she looks like a young girl (probably because in real life she is like a 12 year old girl). Speaking of the few cool action scenes, two of the best ones came in the first half of the movie. The first took place in some geek store and involved Keegan-Michael Key (who seems like he makes an appearance in almost everything now), who of course brought some laughs to the table. The quick action and eye appeasing special effects teased what to look forward to in the rest of the movie…or at least so I thought. The second came when Clooney reappears on screen (and that took almost an hour to happen). While Casey and Frank flee from Frank’s house, they are involved in a special effects spectacle that you might find in one of your favorite sci-fi flicks (it might not be the BEST scene in it but that’s not the point).
Yeah, I Didn’t Like That
I ended the last section off by mentioning Clooney so let me start off this part by talking about him again. I said that it to about an hour for Clooney to officially take part in the movie (he’s shown at the very beginning talking to the screen but then he’s gone for awhile) and that’s a problem. You can’t have a big star take that long to get in a movie like this. Now it would have been fine if the first half was killing it but it was just cool, nothing to write home about. If you have a star of Clooney’s caliber, you’ve got to bring him along a lot sooner. Then when his character is actually in the movie, I kind of wish he wasn’t there. Frank was mad, grumpy and…, like I already mentioned, a pervert. I don’t care if Athena was an old robot who just looked like a little girl, it’s still gross. I did not want to see Frank telling her how she broke his heart. It’s just nasty and towards the end it gets weirder..ugh. Another character I wasn’t fond of was Hugh Laurie‘s David Nix. It’s not Laurie’s fault though. A good actor, like himself, wasn’t given anything to work with except for one of the most forgettable villains I’ve seen in a while. I can’t forget that his screen time was also very slim so there wasn’t even enough time to develop a good villain.
Earlier I talked about how the first half of the movie held most of what was good about the movie so that only means that the second half had to be a stinker right? Well you would be right. First off, when Casey, Frank and Athena set out on route to “Tomorrowland”, the trip takes way too long. The movie already prolonged the arrival to “Tomorrowland” up until that point so I definitely didn’t want to watch a trip to the place take, what felt like, forever (and no I’m not just over-exaggerating). Once the movie finally makes it to “Tomorrowland”, the pace slows down big time in order to explain the confusing, environmental plot. The ultimate plot is pretty much a letdown when you learn what it is. I would of preferred not to wait so long to hear about it since it isn’t that interesting. On top of that, “Tomorrowland” isn’t anything like what I expected it to be…for good reason based off what the story was but still not what I expected or wanted. When the end comes, the resolution and actions leading up to it feels very weak and sub-par compared to what the first half of the movie seemed like it was preparing us for. It also ended in a way that gives off the vibe that a sequel was clearly planned and needed to put the broader (and more interesting story) into effect. I would say that it actually does need a sequel just so we can possibly get more time with the cool looking “Tomorrowland” I thought we were going to get this go around. Unfortunately, I can guarantee no sequel is going to happen so I can throw that hope out the window. Lesson to all movies, if you haven’t already learned, please stop saving all your good stuff for the sequel especially if you can’t guarantee that your profit and your movies quality will warrant one.
‘Tomorrowland’ started out cool and something I could get down with but that good first half was almost annulled thanks to the complete opposite/let down of a second half I witnessed. Basically the movie scored 19 points in the first half but went an awful 0 – 15 from the field in the second half. That’s in basketball terms just to show you all that I miss basketball right now and can’t wait for the season to start back up in October. So….yeah.
RATING: Might Rent
P.S. Once again here is my rating scale. There are four different levels. Below is each level in order from best to worse and what each one means.
Must Own = A movie that is so good that I must add it to my Blu-ray collection when it comes out.
Would Accept as a Gift = I enjoyed the movie but don’t necessarily have to buy it (especially if I don’t have the funds to) myself but I would take it if someone bought it for me.
Might Rent = A movie that if I have the urge to watch again then I’ll just rent it from somewhere or Netflix it.
Never See Again = Very simple. I don’t want to ever see this movie again.
(Photo Credit: http://www.filmdivider.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/tomorrowland-a-world-beyond-500×261.png; http://www.fatmovieguy.com/review/tomorrowland-movie-review/; http://www.apnatimepass.com/movies.php?id=1319&url1=George+Clooney+In+Tomorrowland+Movie)