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Belated Review: Tomorrowland (2015) - Cephus' Corner

Belated Review: Tomorrowland (2015)

November 20th, 2016

I ended up getting Tomorrowland at the same time that I got Ant-Man, and for the same reason.  The price on Amazon finally started to drop and since I was ordering a couple of things anyhow, I threw these two in.  Now I’ll admit that I was really intrigued by Tomorrowland from the trailers, but I had also heard that the movie had problems, that’s why I never jumped on it.

So was it as good as I hoped, or as problematic as I’d heard?  Let’s find out.When Casey Newton finds a mysterious pin, after almost being arrested trying to save her father’s job at a now-defunct NASA space center, she’s sent on an adventure in an alternate universe where the world’s biggest dreamers and brightest minds have toiled away, but can she help them get back on track without destroying the real world along the way?

Okay, yes, this is yet another self-serving Disney film.  We’ve seen plenty that are based on Disney attractions, with mixed results.  But this is based on an idea more than a ride, and that’s where it succeeds brilliantly.

See, we don’t see a lot of hopeful movies these days.  Everything is a disaster, everything is a tragedy, very few movies actually present a message of hope for the future.  And while the movie itself has its problems, what you leave the theater with is the feeling that things can get better, if only we could work together to make it that way.  It’s something that I haven’t seen lately and certainly something that I didn’t go into Tomorrowland expecting.

Now that doesn’t make this a perfect movie.  A lot of people describe it as a film missing the second act and largely, I think that’s correct.  Or, if not missing, it is certainly not as well developed as it should have been  The first act is spectacular, the second meh and it leaps to the conclusion, which is again fantastic.  I don’t say this much, but this movie should have been longer.  It runs a healthy 2 hours, but could easily have gone 2.5 if they had put the second act back in place.

The other issue is that the villain really wasn’t well established.  He wanted to protect Tomorrowland and didn’t really care what it cost, but none of that was really justified on screen.  It came off as almost cartoonish at times, which is why I never bought into it.  Even when the reveal at the end showed that Tomorrowland itself, in trying to protect itself from the outside world, was causing the outside world to self-destruct, nobody really seemed to care. That doesn’t make for good villains, it just makes for disinterested ones and that’s never all that entertaining.

If you’re looking for a movie that’s just fun to watch and that has a really positive message, this is it.  It’s not perfect, there are flaws to be sure, but it is overall a movie that you can watch with your kids and have a good time and feel good about the ending.  We need more movies like this and frankly, director Brad Bird does a pretty good job with this kind of genre.  After all, he’s the one that brought us Iron Giant and The Incredibles, two really good animated features.  With that kind of pedigree behind you, how can you go wrong?

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Cephus' Corner

A Place to Share my Geeky Side With the World. Comics, movies, TV, collecting, you name it, I indulge in it.