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'Tomorrowland' not as good as hoped
Frank Walker (George Clooney) in Disney's Tomorrowland. - photo by Doug Wright
'Tomorrowland' (PG) 3 stars

When the word got out that Disney was producing a movie titled Tomorrowland, the speculation and anticipation started.

So what was actually delivered? Im still trying to figure that out.

The film opens with Frank (George Clooney) addressing a group and sharing thoughts on the future. He paints a bleak and distressing picture until an off-camera voice interrupts him and asks what the vision of the future was when he was a boy.

As Frank reminisces, were taken back to a wide-eyed boy genius who is eager to have his invention of a jet pack examined at the 1964 Worlds Fair. He approaches an intimidating judge who is impressed but ultimately rejects the boy for advancement. This is where Athena, a mysterious little girl played by Raffey Cassidy, comes into the story. She is laser-focused on the boy and facilitates his advancement but advancement to what and where?

Another story line follows Britt Robertson as Casey Newton, a young woman who is determined to sabotage the destruction of a launch pad at Cape Canaveral marking the end of the space program. Tim McGraw stars as her father, a NASA engineer whos instilled a love of science in his extraordinary daughter. Of course, shes ultimately busted for her nefarious efforts, and this is when she finds a strange pin included in her belongings as shes released from jail. As she picks the pin up, she finds herself in an idyllic setting viewing a beautiful, futuristic city.

When she has this experience, she finds that as she walks toward the city, shes still limited to the physical space shes in. She too finds herself being shepherded by little Athena. But again, to what purpose and to where?

Of course, these two stories combine and take us to a strange, complicated, conspiratorial and even preachy place.

I hesitate to say too much. I dont want to detract from whatever experience you have watching this movie, but I will say this: "Tomorrowland" features some intriguing performances, some wonderful special effects and even some humorous moments. But its so mixed up, trying to tie blasts to the past and futuristic vision melded with the dystopian colliding with the utopian. It left me unfulfilled.

I wanted to like "Tomorrowland" more than I did.
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