Don’t listen to the critics when it comes to “Tomorrowland.” Maybe my perspective is skewed after developing a low expectation from so many negative reviews, but I can’t find anything glaringly wrong with this movie. In fact, I loved it. It has action, imagination, an interesting story, a good message, and indescribably amazing visual effects. One of the largest criticisms is the film’s “too preachy” message that “urges humanity to end war and save the environment.” These critics could not be farther from the actual message. This story is about looking for the inherent good in the world and how focusing on wars and environmental issues will make the problem WORSE. If you can get past the critics, you will find a script that delivers everything that we hoped for from the first teaser trailer. I love the backstory of Tomorrowland, the tribute to the 1964 World’s Fair, and the perfectly placed comic relief. This film is full of Disney references without being overtly Disney. They include the song “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” from the Carousel of Progress, you can see Space Mountain in the skyline, and they even called the robots “Audio-Animatronics.” There are some cheesy moments (like the opening narration), but the story can be enjoyed and understood by all age groups. The action may be too intense for the youngest Disney fanatics (particularly the disintegration of humans) but I don’t find it to be any more extreme than the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” films that define the childhood of the last generation. The balance between the world that we know and Tomorrowland makes the futuristic land believable to younger viewers, which will provide this generation with some amazing Disney World memories. The acting is better than what I expect from a typical family film. George Clooney and Hugh Laurie are good, but I was particularly impressed by Raffey Cassidy as Athena. She has amazing facial expressions and made me love her character, even when we are skeptical of her integrity. Additionally, Britt Robinson plays the character of Casey in a way that makes her a likeable heroine, even before she does anything important. It was fun to watch her act and I hope that this is the first of many roles for her. The biggest draw of this film is the special effects. From the vivid CGI world and realistic new technologies to portals and robotic facial glitches, you can’t help but believe every frame of this fantasy adventure. Even if you aren’t a Disney park fanatic or a family film fan, you have to see this one for its visual mastery. In spite of its creative story and landmark special effects, the negative reviews will turn “Tomorrowland” into a box office flop… but don’t let that stop you from experiencing its message of hope and a great, big, beautiful tomorrow.
[Pictured: One of the most interesting fantasy settings that I have ever seen!]