I was unrealistically hyped when I saw the teaser trailer for this film. For those of you who don’t know, Brad Bird is one of my top ten favorite directors. He made fantastic movies like: The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. I look forward to anything he’s involved in, and this movie looked like it could top National Treasure in terms of Disney’s best live action movie. Well, as it turns out, I was wrong.
Tomorrowland is directed by Brad Bird, written by: Damon Lindelof, Brad Bird, and Jeff Jensen. It stars: George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy and Tim McGraw. A man who has lost hope in humanity’s future; and a young adventurous girl who refuses to allow the hardships of life to bring her spirit down, team up to restore the glorious future mankind was destined to attain.
Because the story is what I want to talk about the most, I will go over everything else now. Obviously Clooney, Laurie (and even Cassidy) give good performances, but Britt just annoyed me. I don’t know about you, but she is just not endearing, and because she is the main character, it got grating really fast. The rest of the cast make up for her though. Also, Keegan-Michael Key gets a pretty fun cameo. The effects and CGI are scintillating to watch, and the score compliments them very well. The characters are pretty solid, and most of the jokes are funny.
Before I begin, know that this is one of the most jumbled, missed opportunity, confusing stories I have ever seen. For one, the first 25 minutes are confusing beyond all belief. Don’t worry though, you’ll figure it out later on, but the beginning is jarring. The pacing is also pretty slow. Heck, there is a five minute sequence of just a character marveling at Tomorrowland. Yes, the effects are beautiful, but that is not an excuse to stop the plot. If this movie was directed more tightly, it could easily be 30 minutes shorter (as it is, it’s two hours long). The saddest thing about the story though is that this movie has these plotlines at some form or another: time-travel, invention, space travel, and futuristic utopia and they never go in-depth with any of these (which would make for a much more interesting movie). I can’t say what the movie’s final moral is, but I will say this, I have seen the same moral in multiple other movies. It’s hardly original, and leads to somewhat of an anticlimax because I was expecting something new and creative. I mean come on! This film was written by two-time Oscar nominated (Best Original Screenplay-The Incredibles/Ratatouille) Brad Bird and five-time Emmy nominated (Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series-Lost) Damon Lindelof, yet somehow this movie fails to introduce me to something refreshing. A movie that reminds us that creativity still exists in a world of remakes.
Sadly, I will have to call this movie a disappointment for me. Don’t get me wrong, it is a fine movie, just not the A movie I was anticipating from Disney or Brad. It is visually stunning, and has many creative ideas and an experienced cast, but it’s the sloppy execution, overdone message, and unnecessarily slow pacing that hold it back. It is entirely up to you if you want to see it, but to me, I’d rather watch Back to the Future. By default, this is Brad Bird’s worst movie, and it gets Guy’s Guru Grade of a B.