Movie Review by Jack Silbert
If a family trip to Tomorrowland at Disney World or Disneyland isn’t in the cards this Memorial Day weekend, will a visit to Tomorrowland at the multiplex suffice? Well, there is a lot of good stuff in it, but some not-so-good stuff too. I suppose in the end, it will depend on how much your kids appreciate a convoluted storyline.
The film is certainly trying hard (cynically so?) to appeal to the entire family. It’s rated PG, and features two pre-teen characters, one rebellious teen, and—so you parents stay interested—several recognizable adults (George Clooney, country superstar Tim McGraw, the guy from House, etc.).
|George Clooney as Frank Walker|
This whole segment was feeling a little too “Disney” for me—just too clean-scrubbed and smiley, and very obviously filmed on a sound stage, etc. The kid playing Frank bears a decent resemblance to Clooney but unfortunately isn’t a very compelling actor. And the special effects and sets in the early going aren’t particularly impressive. (For Disney buffs, there are some aesthetic similarities to the theme-park version of Tomorrowland, and I think I spotted a Monorail.)
But then the movie switches gears to the modern era, and we meet teenage Casey (winningly portrayed by Britt Robertson). Poor Tim McGraw, as her dad, has to sport a very regrettable mustache/hairline combo. Plucky ageless Athena witnesses Casey’s potential too, and whisks her off to Tomorrowland, if only temporarily.
|Britt Robertson as Casey Newton|
Too bad that when they do get back to the future, the movie slows way down (which is not advisable in a 130-minute-long children’s film) and then gets incredibly confusing. Because… the world is ending? Or only seems like it’s ending? And they can fix it… how? My head was spinning. Oh, the script was co-written by Damon Lindelof, the executive producer of Lost, one of TV’s most baffling shows ever? What a terrible, terrible idea! The one dependable thing about family movies is their straightforward plots. Not this time, friends.
|The 1964-65 New York World's Fair as |
presented in Tomorrowland
Hey, maybe your kids will have better luck figuring out Tomorrowland than I did. Just like Whitney, I believe the children are our future.