Ready for an exciting “The Tomorrow War“!
“The Tomorrow War” is a Sci-Fi/Action film by director Chris McKay (“The Lego Movie”, “The Lego Batman Movie”) and stars Chris Pratt, Yvone Strahboski, Sam Richardson, J.K. Simmons and many more. Covid strong-armed the studio to sell the film to Amazon for the price of $200 million dollars, as it was originally set to be released last year by Paramount Pictures. This film visually appears like it should be in theaters due to the high production values on display as well as the ensemble of talent both in front of and behind the camera.
Chris Pratt stars as former Iraq war veteran, Dan Forester, who is now a full time science teacher and family man. He feels he is not quite living up to his heroic calling when an unexpected opportunity is placed before him after witnessing a surreal event during a live Soccer game on TV. During the game, a portal opens in the middle of the field and introduces an army of soldiers from the future who have a shocking message. The soldiers are imploring the people of the present to join their ranks in order to fight against a destructive alien race known as “White Spikes” in the future.
If they are unsuccessful in assembling enough volunteers to help fight this luminous threat, the future of mankind as we know it will be eliminated. Forester, along with many other citizens, are ultimately drafted for the future war to save the future of human existence. “The Tomorrow War” kicks into full swing in an ultimate battle for survival once the setup of the film is established and Forester and the other volunteers are transported into the future.
The first thing to mention about “The Tomorrow War” is that, on its surface, it feels like the amalgamation of several different popular Sci-Fi/Action films of the genre from “Aliens” to “Independence Day” to “Edge of Tomorrow” and many more. There’s even a dash of “World War Z” in there. Director Chris McKay includes enough emotional nuance, familial themes, and character development to keep the material engaging despite including familiar tropes. Additionally, McKay tackles the time travel concept in an interesting way by examining the thread between the past, the future and how the two time periods are interdependent on one another.
“The Tomorrow War” does attempt to set rules and parameters for its interpretation of time travel and is successful at staying within those boundaries for the duration of the film. While these guidelines certainly enrich the Sci-Fi element of the film, what also stands out and elevates the film is the impressive and thrilling action sequences on display. The top-notch action here ranges from scenes feeling grounded with moments of true tension & thrills to scenes feeling more explosive with over the top sensibilities that are common in a Sci-Fi/Action spectacle of this size. The action is well staged, exciting and felt the aliens in the film added a horror-esque element with their brutality, strength and fantastic creature design. As the leading man of the film, Chris Pratt handles the material well and even dialed down this character a bit to feel more down to earth and relatable than his other starring roles in larger tentpole genre films.
“The Tomorrow War” does have a few pacing issues that the viewer may notice during the course of the film. This movie probably could have benefited from having some scenes shaved down from its 2 Hour and 18 minute runtime overall. Lastly, there are some minor tonal issues within the film as scenes alternate from being comedic one moment to more dramatic a dire the next. While the sudden shift in tone can be jarring at times, for the most part, these minor issues should not dramatically affect the overall enjoyment of the movie.
At the end of the day, the positives of this film far outweigh the perceived negatives. With “The Tomorrow War”, Director Chris McKay has made the smooth transition over from animated to live action movies with a pretty entertaining film that is worth checking out for fans of Sci-Fi/Action films. With this movie, fan can be more comfortable seeing this director tackle the long rumored “Nightwing” film for DC/Warner Brothers. McKay’s live action debut displays moments of tense action, impressive VFX throughout, high production values and excellent cinematography by Larry Fong (“300”, “Watchmen”, “BvS”) that was visually appeasing to the eye.
I honestly had a really good time with this movie and would have actually loved to check this one out in a theatrical setting. While not a game changer for this particular genre, “The Tomorrow War” is a fun & entertaining film that will entertain with its gripping action & impressive visuals and may even tug at your emotions with some of the strong family themes on display. I recommend giving this one a shot as it may actually surprise you: “The Tomorrow War” is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Enjoy!