New York Magazine’s review of Tomorrowland called it the “anti-Hunger Games.” And while, yes, in many ways this movie shares a twisted version of that series’s DNA, it’s also very much it’s own wonderful thing.
The plot, without spoiling too much is standard Heroes Journey stuff. Florida Teen Casey Newton hears a call (she touches a magical pin that takes her to another world). She’s then lead there by a herald, a little robot girl named Athena, to her mentor, Frank Walker.
Then they go on a fantastical adventure to save the world.
That’s selling the movie short, because I came out of it grinning from ear to ear, madly in love with Casey as a protagonist, and the word “delightful” kept coming up as the best way to describe the movie.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’ve been looking for this movie for years, and actively anticipating it since last October. (Remember, when I saw George Clooney all up close and stuff? I may have mentioned it a time or ten.) And it didn’t disappoint at all.
When I was a kid on rainy Saturdays my dad would take us to the video store and we would rent movies. A lot of the time he’d be sharing stuff with us that he’d loved before we were born, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Princess Bride. I’ve spent a good chunk of my 20’s on the look out for those movies for when my kids are born. The Avengers, Pacific Rim, and now, Tomorrowland.
The cast is wonderful. Britt Robertson delivers as Casey and Raffey Cassidy as Athena are wonderful. George Clooney and Hugh Laurie are, of course, superb. Thomas Robinson turns in a really fun performance as young Frank and you can’t help but see the similarities between him and Clooney. (Seriously, that kid should grow up to be quite good looking.) There are fun small roles by Tim McGraw as Casey’s dad. (Seriously, I’m always surprised by Tim McGraw as actor, he’s always reliably good.), Kathryn Hahn and Keegan Michael Key (If he turns in one more awesome and unexpected performance this year, he is The King Of Movie Season 2105, he’s been GREAT these past two weeks.) A lot of people try to give out the name “The New Spielberg,” as if they will ever be another, but Brad Bird comes close, getting the action and feelings of each scene exactly right.
I should also note that Disney has been on a roll. I’ve seen every release since Frozen in a theater and the only one that hasn’t met or exceeded my expectations has been Maleficent.
- Avengers: Age of Ultron
- Pitch Perfect 2
Shaun The Sheep: This animation studio has never been one of my favorites. But it looks serviceable enough in the Wallace and Grommit and Chicken Run vein.
Pixels: Can we just…not, maybe? There’s an excellent “Tales of Interest” segment from Futurama, watch that instead.
Paper Towns: Ugh, everytime I see an ad for this I want to throw things. And this coming from a woman who once called Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist “unappreciated genius.” Again, I think I’m just too old/not old enough to be into it.
Star Wars: Remember last year, when I got inappropriately weepy at each and every X-Men: Days of Future Past or Mockingjay trailer? This is going to be like that. I saw the Lucasfilm logo, and was like, “nope I got this, I’ll be fine this time.” I heard the music, felt a lump in my throat. Saw the Darth Vader helmet and swallowed. Mark Hamill began narrating and my eyes welled up. The screen went black and the tears started to roll.
Ant-Man: I’m trying you guys, but I just don’t care. I wish I did, and I’m hoping to be proven wrong, but I just…can’t get psyched.