Devin King | Staff Reporter
Published May 22, 2015; 9 a.m.
As a child, the world is always bigger than it seems. Things are more complex. Forests are endless, and TV shows seem like they have endless episodes. At least that is how I remembered it. As an adult, I see myself questioning the shallowness of everything. I am not lost in the large concepts that are built, instead I am more focused on how things are created.
Brad Bird’s “Tomorrowland” is all about capturing the magic of having everything being bigger than it seems. It is just really unfortunate that the film falls completely flat in other aspects.
George Clooney plays inventor Frank Walker who becomes bitter after inventing a mysterious device that has unknown and terrible consequences to it. It takes the young Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) to set Walker on a journey to Tomorrowland, a place hidden from society where technology has advanced well beyond what is known.
On paper, the plot is simple and fun. There are plenty of fun action scenes, and when advanced technology is used to move the adventure forward, the film is an absolute joy with the charm Bird is known for. However, the film spend the majority of its 130-minute run time fleshing out the relatively unlikeable main characters.
So much is spent on the unimportant and unnecessary back story of Walker and Newton that the film’s pacing goes from a screeching halt, to light-speed just to finish the movie. There were points where I was wondering how they film was going to finish, or even if there was an actual conflict to be had.
The characters themselves are more akin to tropes, despite having so much screen time dedicated to enhancing them. Walker seems too idiotic to be the genius that the film presents him to be and Newton is presented as a huge hero despite not actually doing anything notable.
The performances fit the characters, but sadly they do not add much. Surprisingly, the young Raffey Cassidy gives the best performance as the mysterious Athena. Cassidy disappears into her role at some points, and is able to handle the high acting demand her role asks for.
The best part about “Tomorrowland” is the big world it creates. It gives the feeling that everything is bigger than it seems, but the film also likes to put its plot aside for some not-so-subtle messages about current events going on. These moments are so blatant that they are cring-inducing and take away some of the film’s magic.
Aesthetically, the effects are done pretty well and the overall look of the film is great. Michael Giacchino, composer of such films as “Star Trek” and “Mission Impossible III,” delivers a score that meets the high Disney standard.
Like a traditional dinner, there are plenty of parts that are very enjoyable to indulge in when watching “Tomorrowland,” but there are also many raw, unappetizing pieces that are not fun to take in.