Tomorrowland is based off an attraction from various Disney parks, thus continuing the theme park film series that brought Pirates of the Caribbean to life (my fingers are still crossed for a Hall of Presidents movie). Much like the attraction, the film is all about spectacle. Director Brad Bird manages to create a visually striking universe within the film, full of unique twists on traditional sci-fi concepts.
However, Tomorrowland spends the majority of its time in today. Tomorrowland itself is teased at the beginning of the film, enough to get my inner sci-fi nerd salivating, and then it’s taken away. Much like the characters in the film, as an audience member, I really just wanted to go back. When they’re in Tomorrowland, the film feels like it has a purpose and momentum, but that’s lost a bit while they spend the bulk of the film just trying to get back. Overall, Tomorrowland the movie is a lot like an attraction at a Disney park; when you’re on the ride, it’s a great experience, but the majority of your time is spent in line.
Thankfully, you have a stellar cast to wait in line with you. George Clooney, Britt Robertson, and Raffey Cassidy have great chemistry, and are a delight to watch (despite all marketing suggesting otherwise, Britt is the lead in the film, and Clooney is gone for a solid chunk). But the biggest thing this movie has going for it is the spectacular setting that is Tomorrowland. Everything is well thought out and stunning to look at, similar to Mad Max: Fury Road, but with less blood and sand. If Disney’s goal for the film was to capture the sense of wonder felt at their parks, they succeeded with flying colors (and flying jetpacks).
In the end Tomorrowland is a fun sci-fi adventure with enough interesting ideas to dazzle an audience. While I may have left the theater a little disappointed, making an audience want more of something is certainly better than giving them too much.
Quick Review: Tomorrowland is a lot like an attraction at a Disney park; when you’re on the ride, it’s a great experience, but the majority of your time is spent in line.