Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
Imagine a world where nothing is impossible? Actually, that would be Heaven, not Tomorrowland.
What is man’s responsibility to the environment? Answer
How might rain forest destruction affect our weather? Answer
value of scientific curiosity
New York World’s Fair 1964-1965
Who shapes our destiny?
As in this movie, is humanity rushing toward disaster, despite warnings?
importance of hope
|Featuring:||Britt Robertson … Casey Newton
Judy Greer … Mom
George Clooney … Frank Walker
Hugh Laurie … David Nix
Kathryn Hahn … Ursula
Pierce Gagnon … Nate
Jedidiah Goodacre … Buddy
|Director:||Brad Bird—“Ratatouille” (2007), “The Incredibles” (2004)|
|Producer:||Walt Disney Pictures
|Distributor:||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures|
Casey is a young teen, living with her father, a former employee for the retired NASA space program, and her little brother. Casey is a curious girl. As such, she has always been curious about “how things work.” Her belief is that anything in the world can be fixed… anything!
One night, after being released from jail for trespassing on NASA property, one of the items that is returned to her is a pin with a giant orange “T” on it. “That’s not mine!” she says. She picks it up and is instantly transported to a large field with large buildings in the distance. She lets go and instantly returns to the police department, realizing she never left the police department in the first place.
Well, curiosity gets the best of Casey. Where did that pin take her? What did she just witness? Through the help of a former scientist and inventor, Frank (George Clooney—“Gravity,” “Ocean’s 11”) Casey is about to discover how it just takes one person to make a difference… and even change the future.
Earlier this year, I myself had the opportunity to visit Walt Disney World and Tomorrowland. It truly is a magical place, where I could see the limitless possibilities that lied ahead for the future.
“Tomorrowland” truly captures the essence of Walt Disney’s ride of the same name. With a running time of two hours, “Tomorrowland,” in my opinion, could certainly be categorized as one of Disney’s better films this year. While the performances by George Clooney and Britt Robertson (“Scream 4,” “Life Unexpected”) and even Hugh Laurie (“House” TV series, “Blackadder”) are well done, and slightly humorous from time to time, it is the special effects used in building Tomorrowland that caught my attention. Every idea from the Tomorrowland ride is part of the film—simply breathtaking. It is as if Walt himself had been part of the screenwriting process.
That’s not to say that this film doesn’t have its flaws. My main concern is in the overall structure of the film itself, which many other critics have noted. At times, the film does feel disjointed, questions are left unanswered, even if you are paying close attention. If not for the disjointed nature of the story, I would have enjoyed the film a little bit more as a whole. However, the somewhat confusing nature of the plot, for the most part, did not take away the overall enjoyment this movie provided.
“Tomorrowland” has, unfortunately, some issues in regards to content, some of which was unexpected for a film rated PG.
Violence: Moderate to Heavy. There are multiple scenes involving violence, including scenes where robots (and a few people) are shot, electrocuted, beheaded, vaporized, and scenes involving lasers. There are moments in the film where we watch clips of natural disasters destroying homes. There is a scene when young Frank is seen being tossed around on his prototype jetpack. There are some scenes involving some slapstick humor, including Casey bumping her head into the wall and Casey falling down the stairs. Lastly, a huge pole is seen falling on a character and crushing the character’s legs (nothing graphic is shown though).
Profanity: Moderate. Most of the profanity comes from George Clooney’s character. Additionally, “h*ll” is used in 6 different instances (NOT something you would expect in a PG rated Disney picture). Other profanity includes “d*mn” (3), “son of a…” (2), “bollocks” (1), God’s name is used in vain—O.M.G. (3), “God Almighty” (1) and “God” (1), and the word “pee” is used.
One of the main underlying themes found in “Tomorrowland” is the idea of destiny. Time after time (no pun intended) Casey tells Frank that there is no possible way she could play an important role in saving the world. She thinks she’s no one special.
This is contrary to what God tells us. God has determined our destinies and His will for us before we were even born. It is our calling as Christians to trust, read, pray and discern what God’s will is for us in His grand design.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…” —Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV)
Regardless of whether one has been to the theme park itself, one would still probably enjoy viewing “Tomorrowland.” My feelings for the film, however, are mixed. There is some language to contend with which some parents may find unsettling, as well as multiple scenes of violence that parents may not deem appropriate for younger viewers. While the story may feel disjointed at times, “Tomorrowland” is still a breathtaking and enjoyable movie, overall, as the special effects alone may be worth the price of admission. If you are like me though, you will walk out with more questions than answers. I guess you’ll have to use your imagination to figure out the rest.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Minor—a little cleavage and codpieces
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
…a left-wing version of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged …a big-screen global warming discourse that could have been written by Al Gore himself… Heavy-handed enviro-preaching from Clooney and co-star Hugh Laurie were probably not what the majority of Disney theme park fans were expecting during their theater excursion. …
—James Hirsen, Newsmax
…a lecture is a wretched substitute for wonder …runs heavier on canned inspirationalism than on actual inspiration… winds up feeling like a hollow, hucksterish Trojan horse of a movie — the shiny product of some smiling yet sinister dimension where save-the-world impulses and Disney mass-branding strategies collide. …jaw-droppingly misguided final scene…
—Justin Chang, Variety
…Clooney’s disappointing ‘Tomorrowland’ goes off the monorails… reams of preachy dialogue and graphics fail to pull together “Tomorrowland” as anything like a coherent moviegoing experience. …
—Lou Lumenick, New York Post
…lacks joy… The trouble with “Tomorrowland” essentially boils down to this: Jetpacks and a few other visual wonders aside, we have to be told, via the characters, why it’s such a special, essential place. On its own, the place never truly captivates our imaginations or interest, nor does the film’s message feel all that inspiring. …
—Christian Hamaker, Crosswalk
…Though only rated PG, I found the jolting violence to be excessive, the director knowing just how far he could go with action and language before crossing over into PG-13-land. …
—Phil Boatwright, Preview Family Movie and TV Review
…its environmental references to melting glaciers and dying bees take a complex sociopolitical issue and turn it into a one-dimensional creed. …
—Paul Asay, Plugged In
…Today is good, TOMORROWLAND is not… humanist worldview… The movie implies that humans have the ability to control their destinies. Thus, if people think positively, they will have a positive outcome, but if they think negatively they will have a negative outcome. …
—Ted Baehr, Movieguide
…Disney’s gimmick of naming movies for its theme-park attractions crashes and burns in “Tomorrowland,” a here-and-now caper that will confuse children, bore adults and offend anyone who’s ever taken a science class. …
—Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
…sci-fi folly …strip “Tomorrowland” down to its essentials, and you get an ending out of “I’d like to teach the world to sing” and a moral which boils down to: Just be positive, OK? So OK. I’m positive “Tomorrowland” was a disappointment.
—Stephen Whitty, The Star-Ledger (New Jersey)