Starring George Clooney,
Directed by Brad Bird
Written by Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird
Runtime 130 mins.
George Clooney brings credibility to this solid sci-fi family fare from Disney. Directed by Brad Bird, "Tomorrowland" takes on the task of making another feature film from a physical feature of Disneyland and succeeds.
Casey (Robertson) understands machines and how things work. When her NASA engineer dad (McGraw) faces losing his job, she tries to help, and in the process meets Athena (Cassidy), who seems to be a twelve year-old girl, and finds a little round pin bearing a stylized letter “T” which, when touched, takes her to a strange land.
We’ve seen one of these pins before, because slightly earlier we find George Clooney’s character, Frank Walker, was also given one by the same girl, and he was also immediately transported to the same wondrous world.
One of the neatest things they manage to do with this movie is incorporate the 1964 World’s Fair, for which the It’s a Small World ride was built. Here they take what I consider one of the lamer rides and introduce an imaginative aspect which certainly improves it.
In "Tomorrowland," robots and jet packs abound. Robots, especially. "Matrix"-ish ones in suits chase Casey, Frank and Athena, and this provides most of the action as Casey looks on the positive side trying to ward off the end of the world.
Something else remarkable about this movie is the lack of a boyfriend required for Casey. It’s unique in film to see a smart, attractive young woman star in a story and be heroic without any aspect of romance. The real romance in "Tomorrowland" is entertaining a bright, positive future.
Naturally the film has its faults. There are a few holes here and there. For instance, why doesn’t touching the pin zap young Frank to Tomorrowland the way touching the pin takes Casey there? And why do the robots move and sound like people until we know that they’re robots, in which case they then sound slow and robotic?
Triflings aside, the enthusiastic spirit permeating this movie is a cinematic breath of fresh air. "Tomorrowland" doesn’t exceed the first "Pirates of the Caribbean," but it’s better than "The Haunted Mansion."
I’m inspired already. "Big Thunder Mountain." There’s a movie for imagining right there. "Matterhorn," there’s another....
Stewart Kirby writes for