First Reviews for Disney's Tomorrowland Are Decidedly Mixed

Monday, 18 May 2015 - 11:31AM
Monday, 18 May 2015 - 11:31AM
First Reviews for Disney's Tomorrowland Are Decidedly Mixed
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Critics are decidedly equivocal about Disney's newest venture, Tomorrowland. On the one hand, they all agree that the acting is stellar and the visual effects are beyond reproach. But while some critics feel that its sense of wonder and overwhelming optimism make up for the plot's structural flaws, others claim that it's too long, too exposition-heavy, and relegates its entire plot to its messy final act.

George Clooney and Britt Robertson have amazing chemistry, but are both upstaged by Raffey Cassidy

"George Clooney and Britt Robertson have a thoroughly convincing knockabout chemistry – though both play second fiddle to blank-eyed British youngster Raffey Cassidy as a mysterious dimensional exile."Time Out London

"Clooney seems to be enjoying himself thoroughly as the old grump whose creative flame hasn't been entirely extinguished, but it falls more to Robertson to carry the film, which she does with great energy and appeal. Cassidy has an eerie presence that adds mystery to an already mysterious role, while Hugh Laurie makes a decided impression as an old cohort of Frank's." - THR

"Robertson is terrific, and I wish she had a better movie in which to star. She's strong and funny and smart, and she does a lot with dialogue that is by turns corny and bad. If I'm rooting for Tomorrowland at all it's because of Robertson as the lead, playing a tech smart girl whose being a girl is never an issue or a problem."Birth Movies Death

"Casey's driving personality trait is her unwillingness to give up the future and a desire to change things for the better, and Robertson fuels that with her personal charisma... And while it is nice to see Clooney try the challenge of a supporting role – and do well at it – the honest spotlight stealer is Raffey Cassidy. Not only is the Athena character an imaginatively-crafted, fun take on a cinematic robot, but Cassidy plays the challenging role to perfection."Cinema Blend

"Robertson... is thoroughly winning in her first major starring role... And the surprise of the picture may well be the young English actress Cassidy, giving a small wonder of a performance that balances humor and poignancy in a deliberately narrow range."Variety

It has big ideas, but does it know what to do with them?

"How many sci-fi/fantasy films of recent years have climaxed with anything other than massive conflict and conflagration? Whatever the number, Tomorrowland is one of the few to place far more emphasis on talk than action, which is what will probably contribute to what, for some, will make for a softer experience than the genre norm. The film's general coolness and vision of a potentially serene future reminds more of Spike Jonze's Her than of anything in the Marvel, George Lucas or James Cameron-derived worlds, not to mention other far more violent ones."THR

"But the great irony of 'Tomorrowland,' one of which Bird is clearly cognizant, is that - despite its proclamations to the contrary - it offers up substantial ideas. Penned by Bird and Damon Lindelof, 'Tomorrowland' harbors some strongly progressive ideals, a surprising and very welcome change from the hollow-headed summer action films that descend perennially upon theaters in droves."Indiewire

"Tomorrowland has plenty of moral messages to offer, but they're not the kind that stick in the teeth. So is it really just a kids film dressed up as retro adult sci-fi? Is it the other way around? Is it all really about Disneyland? Just shut up and be amazed."Games Radar

"The forces of mediocrity have largely prevailed over 'Tomorrowland,' a kid-skewing adventure saga that, for all its initial narrative intrigue and visual splendor, 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. A sort of 'Interstellar Jr.' in which the fate of humanity hinges on our ability to nurture young hearts and minds, the picture runs heavier on canned inspirationalism than on actual inspiration." - Variety

It's suspiciously similar to an Ayn Rand manifesto

"'Tomorrowland' is singularly unafraid of weighty concepts, tackling climate change, our ongoing fascination with the apocalypse and the very Disney-ish idea of being 'special'. It does get dry (some scenes feel suspiciously like TED talks) and the script's fleeting efforts to unpick its dubious Ayn Rand-ish central ideology are completely undermined by a clunky, flat-as-a-pancake finale. But when it puts down its copy of 'Political Philosophy for Dummies' and focuses on character and action, 'Tomorrowland' is a blast."
Time Out London

"The movie doesn't care about regular people - it cares only for the exceptional and the geniuses. If The Incredibles left you wondering whether Bird is an Objectivist, Tomorrowland will not give you an further clarity on the subject, but it will make you suspicious as hell."Birth Movies Death

Damon Lindelof strikes again

""Tomorrowland" is a globe-trotting, time-traveling caper whose giddy visual whimsies and exuberant cartoon violence are undermined by a coy mystery that stretches as long as the line for "Space Mountain" on a hot summer day." - The Wrap

"The fact that you leave Tomorrowland: A World Beyond with more questions than answers is sort of the whole point. None of which takes away from the gleeful, heartfelt, old-fashioned spirit of adventure that keeps your head spinning in a good way." - Games Radar

"There's a plot, but it's slight, and it's structured in such a lackadaisical way that the film's stakes don't even become clear until the third act."Birth Movies Death

"In the run-up to its theatrical release, Tomorrowland has been notable for the amount of secrecy and mystery that surrounds its story, but while this has been sold as a marketing strategy, the reality is that it's just a reflection of the film's structure, which really pushes all of the real plot to the back-end of the runtime."Cinema Blend
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