** out of ****
The trouble with the Disney adventure/fantasy Tomorrowland seems to have begun at the screenwriting level. The script – by Damon Lindelof and the film's director, Brad Bird – is rather clunky, especially early on when it is setting up the story. Having one character speaking directly to the audience about his discovery of Tomorrowland only to be interrupted 15-minutes in by a second character who shifts the story to her is, frankly, bad screenwriting. However, when the film finally settles into the story of positive-thinking teen Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) and her mission to save the Earth does the film begin to work, more or less, until its protracted, murky and digital effects-heavy finale.
Casey finds a magical pin for a place called Tomorrowland, which leads her to former boy genius Frank Walker (George Clooney), which then leads both of them on a race to save planet Earth from destruction as they are pursued by deadly robots from another dimension.
Raffey Cassidy, as a mysterious little girl named Athena, steals the movie. She's charismatic, funny and brings the movie to life when she is on screen. This kid is a star!
I just wish Tomorrowland's screenplay had gone through a few more drafts.