Ladies and gentlebeings, we’ve reached the Tomorrowland stop on my Strange Age of Tomorrowland World Awakens 2015 movie tour. You may proceed with this review without any major spoilers. Please feel free to stretch your imaginations, take small children by the hand, and be sure to hang on to any personal belongings.
This is my favorite stop so far.
There’s a clear enthusiasm and momentum behind Tomorrowland. And it’s so many things I hesitate to label it as thrilling or reflective or hope-inducing, because as much as it has those elements within it, it’s a much more intricate piece of filmmaking than a broad label can do justice. I have to wonder if that’s why some critics aren’t liking it; it’s not easy to pin down. (Pun completely intended.)
Tomorrowland is reminiscent, modern, and forward-thinking. There is action, adventure and impressive special effects. Moments of whimsy appear and a few times it runs right up to the line of being too silly, but this movie isn’t shying away from the fact that it has a message for you–a very wordy message, but an interesting and thought-provoking one nonetheless.
I’ll admit the narrative is a bit messy and gets complicated at times but the world Brad Bird created makes it easy enough to suspend disbelief and take it all in stride. Fun references to Disneyland are heaviest in the beginning, there’s a bunch of Star Wars in the middle, and a scene right out of The Rocketeer appears towards the end. But even beyond that it’s clearly a nod to how science fiction has inspired so many people.
What’s more, we get a female lead in Britt Robertson’s Casey Newton who skirts the stereotype holes she could have easily fallen in. And she’s supported by Raffey Cassidy’s wonderful Athena, who I’ll just say is definitely more badass than she looks. Yes, George Clooney is in this too (in many ways playing the same guy he usually plays). And while his character, Frank Walker, seems to be going through a very long Hero’s Journey, it is when his crosses paths with Casey’s Heroine’s Journey and they become essential to each other that gives the film more depth.
All in all, Tomorrowland is a refreshing movie-going experience. It hopes to be a kick in the pants to all of us, and, for some, it might very well be.
Tomorrowland was part of Strange Age of Tomorrowland World Awakens, my top ten movies to see in 2015.
Merchandising note: You can buy a Tomorrowland pin. There are actually both men’s and women’s Tomorrowland t-shirts available as well as kid’s. Casey, Athena, Frank, David, and a male character I didn’t realize had a name are all available as Funko ReAction figures. But somehow currently the Funko Pop! figures from the movie are only of male characters.
Kay grew up wanting to be an astronaut. After seeing Star Wars, she wanted to be Princess Leia, Han Solo, and an astronaut. A voice actor, photographer, and artist who also consults in communications and marketing, Kay spends the little bit of free time she has reading, reviewing, and, of course, making pew pew noises. She would pick up more jobs, hobbies, and fitness routines if she was a Time Lord. You can follow her on Twitter.
Kay reviews Star Wars books for FANgirl in addition to movies of several genres with a heart for storytelling and a mind that likes to analyze. She also writes about fandom reflections and fashion as well as co-hosts the Hyperspace Theories podcast. She has been known to make appearances on other podcasts including Fangirl Chat, Nerd Lunch, Disney Vault Talk's Rebel Yell, and Assembly of Geeks.
Currently a voice actor, photographer, and artist who also consults in communications and marketing, Kay spends the little bit of free time she has reading, writing, learning and, of course, making pew pew noises. She would pick up more jobs and hobbies if she was a Time Lord.