DVD Review: Calling all dreamers, Disney’s ‘Tomorrowland’ is a futuristic fantasy

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Walt Disney Pictures

Peyton Thomas, Staff Writer

Witness flying cars, handy robots, and eternal hope when you enter a world where imagination becomes reality by renting Brad Bird’s latest film, “Tomorrowland.” Influenced by Disneyland’s futuristic theme park, Tomorrowland, this movie takes viewers on a cheesy yet inspiring adventure to the future with actors George Clooney and Britt Robertson.

While instilling ideas of never giving up, dreams, and optimism, Bird seems to attack today’s political society and bluntly addresses greed, pessimism, and bureaucracy, all while attempting to get viewers to “feed the right wolf.” If you’re looking for an action-filled movie for a family-night-in that all members can enjoy, “Tomorrowland” should definitely be on the queue. However, if you’re not a corny jokester who loves robots and inventions, you won’t be missing out on anything except yet another Clooney-filled film.

“Tomorrowland” begin with an almost cringeworthy Frank Walker (Clooney) awkwardly speaking directly to the audience. Clooney’s character begins to tell the story of what got him to where he is, but he is quickly interrupted by the brainy, space-curious, and NASA-hat-wearing Casey Newton (Robertson, an up-and-coming actress best known for “The Longest Ride”), who then begins to tell the story from her perspective.

In little more than the first ten minutes of the film, Casey manages to land herself in jail, receive a magical pin, make a small trip into Tomorrowland, and cause the blow up of a couple of robots and their shop.

The show-stealing character, Athena, played by newcomer Raffey Cassidy, then takes Casey on a journey to meet Frank Walker, a man who found his way to Tomorrowland by riding in a boat in Disneyland’s “Small World” ride, and later ends up exiled from the land.

The story takes Casey, Athena, and Frank on an adventure to save the world from ending as Hugh Laurie’s character Nix had planned. Just as every other Disney movie ends, viewer’s emotional rollercoaster comes to a stop at the corner of happy and hopeful.

Bird fills “Tomorrowland” with quality effects and dense creativity, which makes for an obviously passionate film. Clooney’s and Robertson’s performances fall short of stellar; however, they are good nonetheless. The standout actress in this film is, hands down, Raffey Cassidy, who consistently remains composed, slightly creepy, and intriguing.

This movie is so straightforward about the lack of, and need for, optimism and hope in the world that it basically reaches out and slaps you in the face. If you weren’t aware of Bird’s opinion of how the world is today, as soon as the credits start rolling you should know that Bird obviously thinks that today’s society is drowning in pessimism and countless political issues. This movie is often overwhelming and sometimes confusing.

“Tomorrowland” seems to blandly follow the recipe of any Disney movie; however, it does have signs of its individual creativity here and there. This film sparkles in scenes between Clooney and Cassidy, who have great onscreen chemistry.

If you are looking for a movie that the whole family could be content with, “Tomorrowland” is a decent film. Younger siblings will gawk at the intriguing ideas of jetpacks and flying cars, as well as marvel at the futuristic effects, while Mom will swoon at George Clooney’s never-aging look. “Tomorrowland” is an okay film which, in the end, leaves viewers with some hope to become an optimist and surely does “feed the right wolf.”

Our Grade: C
“Tomorrowland”
Rated: PG
Length: 130 minutes
Genre: Action, Adventure, Family
Directed by: Brad Bird
Starring: Britt Robertson, George Clooney, Raffey Cassidy, Hugh Laurie