Chris Pratt, guns, aliens, time travel… cool right? In a nutshell, it’s a fun movie to watch, but you really have to switch your brain off to enjoy it. Here’s my review.
The Tomorrow War
I was going to call this review The Tomorrow Bore, but it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting.
Directed by Chris McKay and written by Zach Dean, it stars Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, J K Simmons, Betty Gilpin, Sam Richardson and more.
The plot, as you might know from the trailer is :
A family man is drafted to fight in a future war where the fate of humanity relies on his ability to confront the past.
* Spoilers From Here On*
I’m not going to explain in detail what happens in the story, because it doesn’t really matter, but in saying that, it does improve as it goes on.
The initial entire plot is stupid! I mean, really stupid! Basically, people are sent to the future and to get killed. Dan Forester (Pratt) is fitted with an armband (that controls the time jumps), that apparently tells when he’s going to die, for him, it’s 7 years down the line…but I feel sorry for everyone else. They are sending cannon fodder to the future to die, IF you serve your time in the future, when you get back you can get to go home, but they say the return rate is 30%…so what’s the bloody point?
Not everyone can jump through time, so they conscript civilians to help, they literally give them a gun say ‘Shoot at the bad guys’ and off they go to the future. From the outset, it blindingly obvious, that if this war happens in 30 years, you get all the worlds governments together, you pool all the resources and weapons, you spend all your time training the best of the best to get ready, but no, it will make a better movie to send people to the future to fight and die.
In the future, all the aliens are nicknamed White Spikes, and from the outset, you see that in most places, there are ‘white spikes’ stuck in walls everywhere. I was then annoyed that only about 3 aliens actually use the spikes… simply for the reason that, if they used the spikes, as much as they seemed to, it would kill the cast too quickly.
Romeo Command (Strahovski) is Dan’s daughter in the future, which, if you saw the trailer and have an IQ over room temperature, you could have worked out. They try to play it out as a surprise early on in the movie, but it was blindingly obvious.
So, his daughter, in the future, tells him she’s working on a toxin that can only be produced in the past, so Dan will have to take the toxin back to the past, make more of the toxin, then send it back to the future, but if he does, his daughter will die.
They explain, early on in the movie that time travel only works 1. over a 30 year period, i.e. 30 years forward and 30 years back and 2. time is always in forward-moving and motion, like in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, where their watch is always on San Dimas time. This was a cheap explanation, the time travel only works 30 years, which means that the movie HAS to play out… if anyone had perfected time travel properly, none of the movie would have happened.
In The Tomorrow War, the writing isn’t amazing, but the plot actually pans out well, not in any great revelation way, but it actually ‘makes sense’.
* End Of Spoilers *
What I will say though is, the movie was pretty good fun to watch. The action is great, the actors do a decent job. I felt it was Starship Troopers but with time travel added and a little Edge of Tomorrow plot mixed in. The difference being with Starship Trooper is that it was made with tongue in cheek; the movie was cheesy, but everyone knew it and was having fun, which made it an enjoyable watch.
In The Tomorrow War, it seems like everyone is taking it seriously, so this kind of takes the edge off the enjoyment. If this movie played out, with everyone knowing they were making a cheesy summer blockbuster, it might have been more enjoyable.
Overall, I give The Tomorrow War 2.5 out of 5 stars, it is a ‘summer blockbuster’, you can sit down, switch your brain off and enjoy a stupid movie with loads of, well, Chris Pratt, guns, aliens and time travel. The first half is stupid, but it does pick up as it goes on, and, I did feel satisfied by the end. I could have imagined seeing this in a cinema, with mates, after a few beers and us all walking out, laughing and joking about how stupid it was, but we all had fun.
It wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, but it’s certainly not Shakespeare, but if you want an evening’s entertainment, something that’s mildly original (as in not a reboot/redo etc), then you can have fun with this, but just expect to laugh at the plot, a lot!