Latest Entertainment News Headlines

Review: Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland
05.19.2015
4 10

PLOT: Teenaged Casey receives a mysterious pin that allows her to see an alternate, futuristic world full of wondrous possibility. She must join forces with a curmudgeonly inventor and a unique little girl in order to find this place for real.

REVIEW: TOMORROWLAND is a strange and unfortunate misfire, a movie ostensibly aimed at children but containing little in the way of genuine adventure. If it seems initially like it'll bring all the joy of the Disneyland experience to the big screen, the movie ends up feeling more like waiting in line for two hours to get to five minutes of fun. This is a startling turn of events, especially considering it comes from director Brad Bird, who if you ask me previously hadn't made a bad movie, and also considering the potential such an ambitious idea holds. Add to that the years of secrecy surrounding the project - What was it really about? What amazing sights might it contain?! - that seem to be all for naught in hindsight. Truth of the matter is, TOMORROWLAND doesn't contain much of anything that could be considered awe-inspiring, and its sense of whimsy feels calculated and forced. What a bummer.

The movie's first 20 minutes or so offer promise: After a brief prologue in which George Clooney's Frank and Britt Robertson's Casey argue over how to record a video message (for whom, we don't know), the movie takes us to the 1964 New York World's Fair, where the Frank character as a youngster (Thomas Robinson) attempts to get his invention - a jetpack - approved by a haughty judge (Hugh Laurie). Failing to achieve his goal, Frank meets a curious young girl named Athena (Raffey Cassidy), who provides the boy with a pin and beckons him to follow her and some others aboard the "It's a Small World" ride. Frank soon discovers that the ride is no ordinary one if you're wearing that special pin, and he's quickly whisked off to the titular Tomorrowland, where he gets a glimpse of an amazing alternate dimension where complicated robots, flying monorails and other eye-popping, futuristic gadgets exist.

Very cool. So it's a shame, then, that the movie needs to stop cold what was a fairly enjoyable opening and abruptly shift gears to focus on Robertson's character Casey, an inventive tomboy with a yearning to help repair the increasingly damaged state of the world - starting with its space program. Dad (Tim McGraw, actually pretty good) works for NASA, but he's soon to be out of a job, and while Casey is pretty good at delaying the inevitable (she dismantles the cranes that are themselves dismantling a rocket platform), she's one day arrested for her trespasses. After being bailed out of jail, Casey receives that same mysterious pin and finds when she touches it, she's transported to Tomorrowland to take a look at of all the wonders of the potential future.

The bulk of the movie involves Casey's journey to discover what this place is and how its fate pertains to her. She's eventually joined by adult Frank, who is now a bitter loner apparently forbidden to ever re-enter Tomorrowland, and young Athena herself, who hasn't aged a day since we saw her in 1964. Essentially, TOMORROWLAND becomes something of a road movie, and while there are a few rousing bits of action interspersed throughout, Bird and co-writer Damon Lindelof just don't provide enough entertainment. Honestly, the young Frank story seems way more interesting than the antics of Robertson's overeager teen, just as Tomorrowland's full backstory would be more intriguing than what it we ultimately learn about it. You could argue Bird and Lindelof have opted for the sequel instead of telling the origin story first. More frustrating still, that Lindelofian (can we make that a word?) tendency to provide more questions than answers is on full display here; you'll find yourself saying, "But I still don't understand (fill in the blank)" a dozen times after it's over.

Still, the movie appears to be zooming toward a thrilling, eye-popping finale, one with all the wizardry and excitement promised by our early glimpses of Tomorrowland itself... and that's when Bird and Co. really drop the ball. I may be a cynical man by nature, but I'm not immune to some heartfelt speechifying about the importance of saving our planet...and ourselves. TOMORROWLAND, however, eschews all urgency in favor of a heavy-handed, preachy third act, in which the Laurie character reappears to chastise humanity at large for being a war-mongering, vapid and fearful species. Thanks for the newsflash, guys. TOMORROWLAND becomes sanctimonious instead of sympathetic, completely taking the air out of the room, and when the action does rev up again, Bird can't help to salvage the mess he's made of things. I believe kids - the target audience for this film - will be bored stiff by the finale. I know I was.  

There are, it should be said, a handful of wonderful sights to behold in TOMORROWLAND. Bird is still very much a skilled choreographer of action and spectacle, and a few of the action sequences are thoroughly engaging (including an amusing sequence at Frank's compound in which he and Casey must defend themselves against a swarm of robots.) The visual effects, too, are top-tier, and when TOMORROWLAND really puts its mind to it, it can wow you with its inventiveness.

But these moments are too few and far between, and you find yourself waiting through sequences of seemingly endless exposition to get to the good stuff. And, oddly enough, though the exposition is plentiful, there's still little sense to be made of what the characters are talking about. Lindelof and Bird jump through hoops to get their characters' explanations across, yet the more they talk, the less we really care. I walked into TOMORROWLAND prepared for it to be many things, but boring and talky weren't among them. Clooney and Robertson are enthusiastic participants, but they don't forge much of a connection; petty sniping is meant to pass for witty banter.

There's no question Bird's motives are virtuous; the filmmaker has made a movie that at the end of the day wants nothing more than for us to wake up and stop f*cking this place up. (WALL-E had similar motivations). But the plodding TOMORROWLAND is, unfortunately, likely to make people tune out rather than listen up.

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Source: JoBlo.com

RECOMMENDED MOVIE NEWS

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

2:02PM on 05/25/2015

Pretty Good!

I saw the movie with my kids last night and thought it was pretty good! A 6/10 for me. You really do get the feeling while watching it that it could have been much better, but it just doesn't get there.
I saw the movie with my kids last night and thought it was pretty good! A 6/10 for me. You really do get the feeling while watching it that it could have been much better, but it just doesn't get there.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+0
8:12PM on 05/24/2015

Floored

I just finished watching Tomorrowland - and respectfully, I'm not sure if you saw the same movie that I did.
The film was outstanding. The story was fantastic - a sense of excitement and hope of what could be possible again if viewers would only drop the cynicism. The purpose of the 'Casey' story angle was that she hadn't given up, like Frank had done. There are moments in the film that my brain almost couldn't process - the story was so well-crafted and woven into what once made America
I just finished watching Tomorrowland - and respectfully, I'm not sure if you saw the same movie that I did.
The film was outstanding. The story was fantastic - a sense of excitement and hope of what could be possible again if viewers would only drop the cynicism. The purpose of the 'Casey' story angle was that she hadn't given up, like Frank had done. There are moments in the film that my brain almost couldn't process - the story was so well-crafted and woven into what once made America great. I walked away completely inspired by it. The film wasn't an 'ad' for Disney World as a few have pointed out. There were a few scenes were frequent travelers to Disney World can see visual inspiration, but that was as far as it went. I think whoever originally conceived the story for this movie was inspired by what Tomorrowland at Disney World used to represent - and saw an opportunity to light a spark of hope for people - and made a thrilling movie in the process. I plan to see it again.

P.S. These guys saw what I saw: [link]
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+0
1:32AM on 05/21/2015
I can't wait for the inevitable porn parody: "Fantasyland"
I can't wait for the inevitable porn parody: "Fantasyland"
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
5:15PM on 05/20/2015

Sounds about right to me

The trailers make it look like one big Disney World advertisement. I can't see why anyone over the age of 10 would be looking forward to seeing this movie anyway.
The trailers make it look like one big Disney World advertisement. I can't see why anyone over the age of 10 would be looking forward to seeing this movie anyway.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+0
9:05AM on 05/20/2015
I saw a screening of Tomorrowland last night, and I thought it was awful. I was expecting a lot out of this movie, but it just doesn't work. I'd also give it a 4 out of 10.
I saw a screening of Tomorrowland last night, and I thought it was awful. I was expecting a lot out of this movie, but it just doesn't work. I'd also give it a 4 out of 10.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
9:37PM on 05/19/2015
Damn, had high hopes for this one considering the talent involved and seemingly original concept. Still gonna check it out though, critics seem pretty mixed.
Damn, had high hopes for this one considering the talent involved and seemingly original concept. Still gonna check it out though, critics seem pretty mixed.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
6:30PM on 05/19/2015
I wasn't anticipating too much when this was announced, even though I like what Bird has done so far. I actually enjoyed the teaser they showed in front of AOU, I'll go check it out and form my own opinion at a matinee.
I wasn't anticipating too much when this was announced, even though I like what Bird has done so far. I actually enjoyed the teaser they showed in front of AOU, I'll go check it out and form my own opinion at a matinee.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+2
5:14PM on 05/19/2015
I was lucky enough to catch an advance screening and, while the movie is no way perfect, the review feels a bit harsh and cynical. Bird really went for something we haven't seen in a long time. It wants to be this sort of all compassing PG entertainment but not feel kiddish or exclude adults. It's ballsy move and then Lindelof just screws the pooch like he typically does. I'm assuming anyway, judging from his previous work. I wouldn't give it a much higher rating, but it's hard to call, 7 feels
I was lucky enough to catch an advance screening and, while the movie is no way perfect, the review feels a bit harsh and cynical. Bird really went for something we haven't seen in a long time. It wants to be this sort of all compassing PG entertainment but not feel kiddish or exclude adults. It's ballsy move and then Lindelof just screws the pooch like he typically does. I'm assuming anyway, judging from his previous work. I wouldn't give it a much higher rating, but it's hard to call, 7 feels a bit too generous but 6 feels too low for what they tried to go for. It's not a bad mantinee flick at all. I'm also curious if Disney could be the culprit. Something about it felt like John Carter which that too, I didn't think was bad at all, just a mixed bag....
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
6:54PM on 05/19/2015
Lindy to the rescue again, huh?
Lindy to the rescue again, huh?
4:13PM on 05/19/2015

So far, it has a 74% rating on RT

it seems pretty divisive though. I'll probably see it, just to see what the fuss is about. Best comment: "Honest Trailers is going to have a field day with this one."
it seems pretty divisive though. I'll probably see it, just to see what the fuss is about. Best comment: "Honest Trailers is going to have a field day with this one."
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
5:55PM on 05/19/2015
The average critic score is the one to look at. That's currently at 6.6, which is pretty mediocre. That means that even the positive critic reviews aren't overwhelmingly positive.

Doesn't matter, I didn't like this from the trailers. Unless the reviews were off the charts good (convincing me I misjudged it), I wasn't going to see it anyway.
The average critic score is the one to look at. That's currently at 6.6, which is pretty mediocre. That means that even the positive critic reviews aren't overwhelmingly positive.

Doesn't matter, I didn't like this from the trailers. Unless the reviews were off the charts good (convincing me I misjudged it), I wasn't going to see it anyway.
-1
3:53PM on 05/19/2015

I had a feeling.....

I thought the first teaser was spectacular, and thought this might be truly epic. Then I saw the dragging trailer about going to Clooney's house and riding a bathtub to....wherever, and lost all interest. The more I've heard, the less I've cared. I'll go pop Iron Giant or Incredibles into the DVD player instead.
I thought the first teaser was spectacular, and thought this might be truly epic. Then I saw the dragging trailer about going to Clooney's house and riding a bathtub to....wherever, and lost all interest. The more I've heard, the less I've cared. I'll go pop Iron Giant or Incredibles into the DVD player instead.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+3
3:15PM on 05/19/2015

Lindelofian

Seriously, fuck that guy. His trick is to set up unsolvable mysteries, not because the questions they bring up provide any sort of profound insights or thematic discussions, but because it superficially seems cool. It's not in service of the story at all. He writes for the trailer moments. All set up, no pay off. Ambiguity can really add subtle layers to a story, but not when it's ambiguity for ambiguity's sake.
Seriously, fuck that guy. His trick is to set up unsolvable mysteries, not because the questions they bring up provide any sort of profound insights or thematic discussions, but because it superficially seems cool. It's not in service of the story at all. He writes for the trailer moments. All set up, no pay off. Ambiguity can really add subtle layers to a story, but not when it's ambiguity for ambiguity's sake.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
6:42PM on 05/19/2015
Fucking nailed it! I can't stand Lindelof!
Fucking nailed it! I can't stand Lindelof!
+2
3:08PM on 05/19/2015

This review really seems to be in the minority

The film seems to be divisive with some people loving it (The Hollywood Reporter, Indie Wire, and Empire ave all given it glowing reviews) and others just liking it. Even then, not a single ciritic on MetaCritic has given it less than a 5.
The film seems to be divisive with some people loving it (The Hollywood Reporter, Indie Wire, and Empire ave all given it glowing reviews) and others just liking it. Even then, not a single ciritic on MetaCritic has given it less than a 5.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
3:56PM on 05/19/2015
Well, considering it's at 6.6 on RT, I'm not so sure that's true (or no one has liked it enough to give it more than a 7).
Well, considering it's at 6.6 on RT, I'm not so sure that's true (or no one has liked it enough to give it more than a 7).
2:25AM on 05/20/2015
MetaCritic is a lot more selective about who they run reviews from so a lot of the critics on RT don't show up on there. The Holywood Reporter and The Village Voice both gave it a 90, Indie Wire gave it an 83 and Empire gave it an 80.
MetaCritic is a lot more selective about who they run reviews from so a lot of the critics on RT don't show up on there. The Holywood Reporter and The Village Voice both gave it a 90, Indie Wire gave it an 83 and Empire gave it an 80.
8:20PM on 05/24/2015
What I find funny is that the comments 'negative' reviewers of the movie are making are exactly the attitude the movie was talking about.
What I find funny is that the comments 'negative' reviewers of the movie are making are exactly the attitude the movie was talking about.
2:50PM on 05/19/2015
That's really disappointing! Admittedly I thought up to this point Brad Bird could do no wrong. Guess I was mistaken. I'll wait till Redbox.
That's really disappointing! Admittedly I thought up to this point Brad Bird could do no wrong. Guess I was mistaken. I'll wait till Redbox.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:51PM on 05/19/2015
Not much else out there or opening soon so it will probably get the family crowd.
It really was an interesting project until we found out what it was about, then it became like every film based on a YA book series.
Not much else out there or opening soon so it will probably get the family crowd.
It really was an interesting project until we found out what it was about, then it became like every film based on a YA book series.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:16PM on 05/19/2015
Wow, I'm truly disappointed. I'm admittingly one of those blind followers of Brad Bird and will still evaluate this movie for myself, but that's a pretty low score. I was really looking forward to this, I'm all for an original fantasy adventure. I really hope this doesn't turn Hollywood even further away from original properties.
Wow, I'm truly disappointed. I'm admittingly one of those blind followers of Brad Bird and will still evaluate this movie for myself, but that's a pretty low score. I was really looking forward to this, I'm all for an original fantasy adventure. I really hope this doesn't turn Hollywood even further away from original properties.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:04PM on 05/19/2015

Damien Lindelhof should change his name to

Box-Office Poison.
Box-Office Poison.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
2:31PM on 05/19/2015
Nope. His movies have been mostly successful.
Nope. His movies have been mostly successful.
12:55PM on 05/19/2015
This just felt like the summers first big box office bomb. Even the trailers were boring.
This just felt like the summers first big box office bomb. Even the trailers were boring.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+1
12:49PM on 05/19/2015
It's not that bad... this actually has a great message, but runs into problems when it's trying to explain everything that's going on. I have to admit I got lost at various points. It's a Disney movie, which means it's all well-meaning, nice, and even a little bit naive. There's not a cynical bone in this movie's body and that probably won't go well with modern audiences.

There are some awe-inspiring moments, particularly when we first visit Tomorrowland, but not enough of them. It's not
It's not that bad... this actually has a great message, but runs into problems when it's trying to explain everything that's going on. I have to admit I got lost at various points. It's a Disney movie, which means it's all well-meaning, nice, and even a little bit naive. There's not a cynical bone in this movie's body and that probably won't go well with modern audiences.

There are some awe-inspiring moments, particularly when we first visit Tomorrowland, but not enough of them. It's not bad, though not spectacular either. I wouldn't go so far as to call it Brad Bird's worst film, since the man clearly has talent. And it's always nice to see a movie which is not based on a pre-existing property (theme parks don't count); those are increasingly rare nowadays.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:48PM on 05/19/2015
Then what exactly would you call Brad Birds worst film then? Because Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and MI:Ghost Protocol were all great. So, would this not be he worst film then?
Then what exactly would you call Brad Birds worst film then? Because Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and MI:Ghost Protocol were all great. So, would this not be he worst film then?
2:18PM on 05/19/2015
Yeah, I appreciate your defense of Bird, and I will certainly see this film. But considering how his other work has been pretty flawless it does sound like this one might be his most uneven film.
Yeah, I appreciate your defense of Bird, and I will certainly see this film. But considering how his other work has been pretty flawless it does sound like this one might be his most uneven film.
+0
12:41PM on 05/19/2015
That they couldn't even concisly express what the heck this movie was about in their previews said a lot. And it wasn't a good sign.
That' it's Disney, amd they are now saturating airwaves with advertising may take some of the pain off the bottom line. Instead of a flat out bomb, the brand and limited children's fare at the box office may save it
That they couldn't even concisly express what the heck this movie was about in their previews said a lot. And it wasn't a good sign.
That' it's Disney, amd they are now saturating airwaves with advertising may take some of the pain off the bottom line. Instead of a flat out bomb, the brand and limited children's fare at the box office may save it
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
12:12PM on 05/19/2015
My best friend manages a movie theater, and he saw a screening of Tomorrowland last night. He said it was "ok". He gave it a 5 out of 10, which is low for him. I asked him if I should even bother seeing it, and he said "go see Mad Max again", so I am.
My best friend manages a movie theater, and he saw a screening of Tomorrowland last night. He said it was "ok". He gave it a 5 out of 10, which is low for him. I asked him if I should even bother seeing it, and he said "go see Mad Max again", so I am.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
12:03PM on 05/19/2015

LOL

A lot of people were throwing around "in Bird we trust" comments when this was announced.... and well, there you go. Nothing against the guy, his animated movies are some of the best around, but those are team efforts that have many hands involved over the course of like 6 years of [link] I imagine that Mission Impossible was very similar, many many hands doing many many things. It's too bad he botched his first attempt at an original live action movie. I wonder if his name will stop being
A lot of people were throwing around "in Bird we trust" comments when this was announced.... and well, there you go. Nothing against the guy, his animated movies are some of the best around, but those are team efforts that have many hands involved over the course of like 6 years of [link] I imagine that Mission Impossible was very similar, many many hands doing many many things. It's too bad he botched his first attempt at an original live action movie. I wonder if his name will stop being thrown in now for every announced franchise/comic book film
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
12:05PM on 05/19/2015
I don't know why that added a link.... i wrote "writing,rewriting,storyboarding,editing"
I don't know why that added a link.... i wrote "writing,rewriting,storyboarding,editing"
4:00PM on 05/19/2015
It does that when you use an ellipses. I have no idea why. Sometimes it'll do it even if I separate the letters or dots.
It does that when you use an ellipses. I have no idea why. Sometimes it'll do it even if I separate the letters or dots.
5:06PM on 05/19/2015
Yeah, that's weird... I wrote them out with slashes the first time, and commas in the comment.

Here's a test with slashes:
[link]
Yeah, that's weird... I wrote them out with slashes the first time, and commas in the comment.

Here's a test with slashes:
[link]
5:07PM on 05/19/2015
Yeah, so I guess if you type something with a slash "/" it automatically generates a link...
Yeah, so I guess if you type something with a slash "/" it automatically generates a link...
+0
12:00PM on 05/19/2015
The film itself didn't look very exciting. There was no WOW factor. I love Brad Bird. but I felt like between the secrecy and what was shown in the trailers, nothing compels me to see it. I don't care at all for it. Not saying I don't want it to fail or think the movie is trash but the review goes along with a lot of the thoughts I felt prior to the film's release.
The film itself didn't look very exciting. There was no WOW factor. I love Brad Bird. but I felt like between the secrecy and what was shown in the trailers, nothing compels me to see it. I don't care at all for it. Not saying I don't want it to fail or think the movie is trash but the review goes along with a lot of the thoughts I felt prior to the film's release.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:43AM on 05/19/2015
4/10? Is it that bad?
4/10? Is it that bad?
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:42AM on 05/19/2015
I wasn't expecting it to be good.
Fun fact: In germany the title of the movie is "a world beyound" ... in english... so... they changed Tomorrowland into another english title....
I wasn't expecting it to be good.
Fun fact: In germany the title of the movie is "a world beyound" ... in english... so... they changed Tomorrowland into another english title....
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:47AM on 05/19/2015
In the Netherlands it's called Project X
In the Netherlands it's called Project X
12:02PM on 05/19/2015
Project T actually in the netherlands and the story why they changed the name is pretty funny. We have a yearly annual festival called Tomorrowland, last year they held one in the USA for the first time. But Disney being Disney immediately called their lawyers to demand they gave the the festival another name in America, because Disney had the bname copyrighted. So they did (tomorrowworld I believe) as they were told. But then the first posters and trailers for the movie were still just called
Project T actually in the netherlands and the story why they changed the name is pretty funny. We have a yearly annual festival called Tomorrowland, last year they held one in the USA for the first time. But Disney being Disney immediately called their lawyers to demand they gave the the festival another name in America, because Disney had the bname copyrighted. So they did (tomorrowworld I believe) as they were told. But then the first posters and trailers for the movie were still just called Tomorrowland, but the people behind the festival noticed and remembered Disney's demand to them and since they copyrighted the name Tomorrowland in the Netherlands they paid Disney back by demanding the exact same thing. Change the name or pay up.
3:45PM on 05/19/2015
baronweazle, that's funny. eat that, disney.
baronweazle, that's funny. eat that, disney.
11:41AM on 05/19/2015
I've seen some glimpses of energy and genius from the trailer, but it looks like Brad Bird got held back by Disney a lot,especially since it's based on the ride in Disneyland.
I've seen some glimpses of energy and genius from the trailer, but it looks like Brad Bird got held back by Disney a lot,especially since it's based on the ride in Disneyland.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:37AM on 05/19/2015
That's disappointing to read, but to be honest it's not surprising. The film didn't really look to be anything special or moreso than any of the other blockbusters to come out this summer despite having Bird at the helm.
That's disappointing to read, but to be honest it's not surprising. The film didn't really look to be anything special or moreso than any of the other blockbusters to come out this summer despite having Bird at the helm.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
View All Comments

Latest Entertainment News Headlines


Top
Loading...

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting

Movie Hottie Of The Week

More

Most Popular Upcoming

More