Todd Perry’s review published on Letterboxd:
I enjoyed this more than initial public response would have indicated. But, I think that I enjoyed vignettes of the whole rather than itself as a whole. I love Brad Bird's style of storytelling, the pacing, the camera work, the blocking of the action. And each section had entertainment value -- except a few...more later. Britt's unbridled joy in anything new is a great counterpoint to the curmudgeonly Clooney.
But as a whole film, despite its ultimate positive call to action, felt rather heavy handed. Perhaps this is what hit audiences so hard?
Another potential flaw -- and this is me second guessing an established director -- lies in a problem that Capra has with the initial screenings of Lost Horizons. Capra showed the audience all of the back story for his characters in Act I, with the idea that you will care about the stakes more if you know them. The film played great with small audiences and with Capra's studio associates. But failed in a larger venue. After dwelling on it for days, Capra lopped off the entire first 20 minutes. On the next screening, the larger audiences loved it.
Capra's takeaway? Come into the story as late as you possibly can. This is frequently a screenwriter guideline nowdays. And this is what Tomorrowland DIDN'T do. They try and start at the end with the voiceover -- but it doesn't work..we forget about this aspect until nearly the end of the film. But moreso, we get to see Frank (Clooney's) childhood past and how he got involved in this. And it drags. And drags. And drags. Until FINALLY, we get to the story of Casey -- our protagonist.
They could have taken Capra's advice and lopped off the first twenty minutes. At 2 hours 10 minutes, it had room. And it would have saved a few million in visual effects.
That's my theory...I'm stickin' to it.
P.S. The visual effects were breathtaking.