Tomorrowland: Disney at its…average

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On May 22, Disney debuted its anticipated futuristic dystopian film, Tomorrowland. The movie is about a teenage girl who finds a pin that takes her to a strange land that boasts nearly everything you think belongs in a futuristic society. This place is known as Tomorrowland.

However, the pin’s timer runs out and no longer works, cutting off access to the utopia. The female

A poster from the movie depicts a young and old Frank Walker (George Clooney) outside of Tomorrowland. Can you find Space Mountain in the the city?

Justin Leonard
A poster from the movie depicts a young and old Frank Walker (George Clooney) outside of Tomorrowland. Can you find Space Mountain in the the city?

protagonist, Casey Newton (Britt Robertson), starts searching for a way back to Tomorrowland, but, after some trouble, realizes none exist — that is, until after a lot more trouble transpires and she finds herself helped by former boy-genius, Frank Walker (George Clooney), to go to Tomorrowland and save Earth.

Despite the promising plot and visual effects, I found a lot of problems with the movie. There is little to no character development, and where there is opportunity for backstory, almost none is given. For example, Newton has a NASA hat that apparently belonged to her father. She absolutely refuses to let it sink to a bottom of a pond, demonstrating her love for the hat. In this same scene, because of the hat, Newton is given an insight into Walker’s parents, which audiences had already found out in a brief flashback within a flashback at the beginning of the movie. The hat is later snatched off her head by the wind two-thirds into the movie. Leading up to that, there is a lot of attention drawn towards the hat, making it seem like it is going to be an obvious plot device, but then (as the wind takes it away) renders it pointless, and as far as I can tell, the loss of the hat holds no symbolism. Casey didn’t seem too upset that the hat which she put so much effort into saving earlier is now gone for good.

 

At some points the movie seems forced forward, like where Casey somehow figures out that some obscure particle, that she knows almost nothing about, is somehow, obviously putting hopelessness into people’s heads. The movie’s scientific explanations amount to little more than saying, “Well you see, we have this machine that does this thing with the antennas because of…reasons. You’ll just feel like you’re dying and you blood sugar will drop for…reasons.”

The movie does have some good quality humor — the kind you can expect out of a George Clooney movie — but sometimes the humor feels inappropriate, like during what happened during a very sad and solemn death scene. Instead of a gripping, emotional scene, all the audience received is the dying character telling an unfunny joke about how unfunny another character is.

Overall, the movie did many things well, the story was well established and, like most Disney movies, has a really commendable and very modern moral. But, accumulating all its flaws, this movie only scores a five out of ten in my book.

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