Movie Review: Tomorrowland

The trailers for Tomorrowland have been very vague. I watched the teaser and then the full trailer before the film came out, and I still wasn't entirely sure what it would be about, except a girl gets transported to a magic land that may very well be the future. Tomorrowland is, of course, also a park section at the Disney parks (WDW and Disneyland), and the movie tries to keep in the spirit of those.

Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) has been sneaking into the grounds of an old NASA launch deck every night to sabotage it. Her dad (Tim McGraw) is going to get laid off once the launch deck is disassembled, and so Casey wants to delay that by damaging the deck. One night, however, she gets caught, and ends up in jail until she makes bail; when she gets her possessions back, among them she finds a mysterious pin with a "T" on it. When she picks up the pin to pocket it, all of a sudden she's in a different world - one that looks very futuristic.

This, of course, freaks her out; she tries to explain and show her dad what is going on, but it doesn't work when he touches the pin. Casey does some internet research and finds a store in Houston that's looking for the same pin; however, once she gets there, chaos ensues, and soon she finds herself in the company of a little girl, Athena (Raffey Cassidy), who has a lot of explaining to do.

I'm a big fan of sci-fi movies that are done right, and although the premise here was extremely interesting, I wanted to know more. Although I'm a huge fan of George Clooney, too, his acting here seemed almost over-the-top; I enjoyed Britt Robertson here more than in The Longest Ride, though, which she was also in recently. The little girl in this film (Cassidy) was very good in her role, though, and definitely stole the show.

Yes, see this movie, but save it for a matinee. There's apparently a lot of Disney Easter eggs in the film if you look hard enough, which a fellow screener pointed out to me later. I found myself with a lot of unanswered questions after the film, though, and the movie seemed a bit choppy to me in terms of content. I wanted to know more about the years between Frank Walker's (Clooney's) departure from Tomorrowland and his now-adulthood, and also Casey's character could have used more context; we know that Casey is a "dreamer," which is why Athena finds her, and that she "knows how things work," but that's about it. The cinematography in this film, however, was very well done, especially the scenes in Tomorrowland, even though I enjoyed the first half of the movie more than the second. I'll also caution that although it has a PG rating and not PG-13, it seemed more violent to me than your typical Disney movie; heads literally roll, even though they may not be human heads, and I'd say the movie is more appropriate for 10+ than ages 5+.

Tomorrowland is in theaters today, May 22nd, and is rated PG with a runtime of 130 minutes. 3.5 stars out of 5.

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