This science fiction film is the latest film from Disney with a connection to their theme parks (Tomorrowland is one of the many themed lands featured at five Disney theme parks around the world); the film even includes a scene featuring the irritating “It’s a Small World” attraction. We saw the film at an IMAX theatre and found the film visually stunning and creative at times, but the story weak and the overlong film, well, rather boring. The film is directed by Brad Bird, who has a strong resume (Ratatouille, The Incredibles, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol), and who helped write the screenplay.
As the film starts we are introduced to a young Frank (Thomas Robinson), going to the 1964 World’s Fair with his back pack invention that doesn’t quite work. It is there he meets the freckle-faced Athena (Raffey Cassidy) and Nix (Hugh Laurie from House M.D).
We also meet Casey (Britt Robertson) who lives with her NASA engineer father (Tim McGraw) and younger brother. Casey is constantly told in her classes in school that the world is being polluted, destroyed and slowly ending. She never gets an answer to her question about what can be done about it. One day, she finds a mysterious pin which takes her to a futuristic world. She will eventually meet the adult Frank (George Clooney) and Athena.
A favorite scene (as we just returned from Paris and stood below the Eiffel Tower) was when Casey, Frank and Athena go to Paris and they launch something out of the middle of the Eiffel tower.
The film has messages – about what we are doing to our world (we see a clock counting down to the end of our world and video screens depicting all of the terrible things going on in the world), as well as optimism for a better world. Well, I think it does. After the movie Tammy and I had a good conversation about the film. It just didn’t come together for us.
The film is visually stunning and creative at times, but the story needed to be tightened up. The film was a good 30 minutes too long (I caught myself checking my watch). The film was also surprisingly violent for a PG rating, and there was some minor profanity included, along with the misuse of God’s name.
So like a Disney attraction, you may want to just see the story as supplemental as you enjoy the experience and the ride.