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Starring: George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy
Director: Brad Bird
Running Time: 130 Minutes
Rating: PG
Release Date: May 9, 2015

“I am the future,” a strange little girl keeps repeating throughout the movie.  She is so wonderfully portrayed by Raffey Cassidy that I hope this is a star maker role for her.  It is difficult to say a line like that with a straight face but she manages to be both convincing and mysterious.

There is much that is good in this movie.  Anyone who saw the previews knows there are many glimpses of a magical Tomorrowland. Amazingly, this is a real place – The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain.  If you happen to be planning a trip to Spain, I’d recommend including this just from the pictures.

Sadly, that’s the best part of the movie.  The acting is universally good.  George Clooney acts against type, turning in a solid performance as an old curmudgeon defeated by life.  Britt Robertson as the optimistic teenager is a little over the top at times but still okay.

And there’s a message for girls here.  Both the teen and the tween love science.  They make it clear that science is a good profession for girls and that alone makes the movie worthwhile.

The plot is started by Britt who wants to be an astronaut and is plotting to prevent the closure of a NASA base.  Soon strange things happen.  She is arrested, receives a token that sends her briefly to Tomorrowland.  And then it all gets really complicated with lots of exciting chases sequences.  She teams up with George Clooney and the bad guys really go after them.

So what is the plot exactly?  I don’t know and that is the fatal flaw in the movie.  There’s one great and vivid scene after another that make the movie enjoyable, the moment you try to figure out exactly what it’s about, it all gets vague and contradictory. 

Earth is in danger due to people losing faith in the future.  Yep, that’s the biggest threat to earth today!  The movie beats you over the head with that message and it’s a shame for there is so much that’s good in Tomorrowland. 

I haven’t even mentioned the portrayal of George Clooney as a little boy at the 1964 World’s Fair (played by Thomas Robinson).  This is a marvelous story where he is determined to invent a jet pack.  This is so good that I wish the writers had thrown out the rest of the movie and expanded on this part to make a children’s movie. 

My final comment is simply that I did enjoy Tomorrowland simply for the subplots and scenes and the non-stop action halfway through.  But it’s the sort of movie that dies if you give a moment’s serious thought such as “What was that about???”  It also has the absolutely lamest ending of any movie I’ve ever seen.  I think they knew they wanted to end on a positive optimistic note, couldn’t think of one, so just threw something utterly ridiculous together.

So go if you need something to watch while eating popcorn.

Reviewed by Marian Powell

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