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Movie Night – 'Tommorrowland' focuses on belief one can change the world (June 3, 2015 issue)

“Tomorrowland” is not a typical George Clooney movie. It’s not about how he’s cool and sophisticated, or even good looking. He doesn’t use his charm to romance the ladies. In fact, “Tomorrowland” is one of the few Clooney movies in which he is not the main character. Instead, it’s a movie about a girl and her dreams.
Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) is the son of a NASA engineer and whiz with anything electronic. Casey believes in dreams, she believes in boldly going where no man has gone before. But more than anything else, she believes in hope, that we can make the world a better place.
Those beliefs are the very reason that she opposes the closing of a decommissioned NASA launch pad in Cape Canaveral. Seeing no other option, Casey takes drastic measures. Using some gadgets of her own invention, Casey sneaks onto the grounds of the launch pad at night and sabotages the efforts to decommission the launch pad. The second time she attempts the same daring mission the police are ready for her and she is promptly arrested.
Casey’s dad, Eddie (Tim McGraw), has to call in all of his favors at NASA to get Casey released from jail. As she’s picking up her personal effects at the jail she finds a strange pin about the size and shape of a quarter with a blue “T” in the center. After telling the uninterested jailer that the pin is not hers she decides to pick it up, only to receive the greatest shock of her life.
When Casey touches the pin she is transported to a different world. Rather than a dingy local jail, she finds herself in a field, surrounded by nothing but wheat. As she spins around she can she a city in the distance, a city that looks like it’s straight out of a Jetsons cartoon. When she drops the pin she is transported back to the jail. This teleportation happens only when Casey touches the pin, it doesn’t work for anyone else. Holding the pin, Casey eventually makes her way to the futuristic city, Tomorrowland.
Back in the real world a mysterious little girl appears on the scene and directs Casey to Frank Walker (George Clooney). Walker is a recluse who happens to be a former resident of Tomorrowland. After reluctantly agreeing to help Casey, Walker describes Tomorrowland as a place where all the best and brightest minds gathered to create a utopian society. Only that Tomorrowland is gone, and the one that remains is desolate and barren with no hope for the future. The ruler of what is left of Tomorrowland, Governor Nix (Hugh Laurie), refuses to help Earth at the expense of Tomorrowland. Together, Casey and Walker must save the world and Tomorrowland.
This is a great movie for kids ages 8 to 14, even more so for boys. If this movie had been released when I was 12 it would have been my favorite movie of all time. There’s a secret world, action, adventure, and one special girl who can save everything. What more could a young boy want?
The actors all do a good job in their respective roles, but this movie is not about the acting. “Tomorrowland” is about the message behind the movie. While all of the older characters have given up hope that anything can be done to save the troubled and doomed world we live in, Casey refuses to give up. That one speck of goodness and hope can make a difference. It’s not the all-knowing adults that recognize this universal truth, but a young girl.
“Tomorrowland” is about the belief that one person can change the world. The city itself is an optimistic view of what could be. It’s a movie that will entertain kids while providing them with an uplifting message. And maybe it will make the adults feel like a kid again, if only for a couple of hours.
Grade: B+
Rated PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and peril, thematic elements, and language.