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Coming Soon

60 years ago Walt Disney decided to add a new “land” to his theme park that embraced the future and wonders that could be. This area of attraction became a mainstay and can now be found in five Disney parks around the world. People come from far and wide to see this magical place. What if it wasn’t just an area in an amusement park? What if it were real, and more importantly, what if it was the key to mankind’s survival, or worse yet, the beginning of the end of life as we know it? Walt Disney Pictures aims to explore this angle in the action/adventure/mystery movie, Tomorrowland.

After a brief introduction by one of the main characters, Frank (George Clooney), we’re told a very interesting story about Frank’s childhood and what lead him to a place called Tomorrowland. He doesn’t find this place on his own though. He has a bit of assistance in getting there after an encounter at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. This help comes in the form of a young girl who goes by the name Athena (Raffey Cassidy) who seems keen on the idea of introducing Frank to a whole new world where you can make all of your dreams come true. Another of the main characters, Casey (Britt Robertson) also gets her say in what, and how she is led to the same land. As it turns out, their lives are intertwined and they’re destined to play a major part in the survival of the human race.

Director Brad Bird does an admirable job in bringing a living breathing Tomorrowland to life. The visuals are pretty amazing and, at times, I actually wondered what the experience might have been like in 3D. It’s probably for the best though that it wasn’t. The characters introduced throughout the movie were colorful, quirky and fun. Recalling memories of actually visiting Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom, this movie experience feels similar in regards to supporting characters, as well as the landscape of the futuristic land.

On the acting side of things, George Clooney does a nice job of facilitating, and not overshadowing his lesser experienced co-stars. Britt Robertson, who has more of a small screen presence than a main co-star in a big budget feature, does quite well in portraying her character. The one actor who somewhat steals the show from a performance perspective in Tomorrowland is Raffey Cassidy who plays Athena. She displays quite the acting range throughout the film based on how her character is called to behave. Other actors of note include Hugh Laurie (House M.D.), Keegan-Michael Key (Key and Peele), Kathryn Hahn (Parks and Recreation) and Tim McGraw (Grammy Award winning country music artist).

The concept of Tomorrowland is both its blessing and curse. On the plus side of things it’s wondrous and does a decent job of capturing the imagination of the audience and, for some, bringing them back to a time when thinking “what if” brought smiles to their faces. On the downside of things the story is somewhat dated thanks to the plethora of sci-fi movies that have brought us a bigger, better and more “wow-worthy” tomorrow. Couple that with the fact that story is a little long as far as runtime goes, and you’ve got yourself a movie that will cause interest to slightly wane, causing some detachment.

A 130 minute runtime for a rated PG Disney movie really doesn’t make for a winning combination formula. It’s possible that its box office numbers could be affected due to this as it may be a decent film without a clear cut demographic (think Martin Scorsese’s 2011 film Hugo). As it stands though, Tomorrowland is an entertaining movie and is definitely worth checking out as long as you pack some patience for the younger viewers. Just say no to sugary sweets and soda pop at the concession stands and you’re well on your way.

Tomorrowland is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Carl Wheeler

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