The world is stunned when a group of time travelers arrive from the year 2051 to deliver an urgent message: Thirty years in the future, mankind is losing a global war against a deadly alien species. The only hope for survival is for soldiers and civilians from the present to be transported to the future and join the fight. Among those recruited is high school teacher and family man Dan Forester (Chris Pratt). Determined to save the world for his young daughter, Dan teams up with a brilliant scientist (Yvonne Strahovski) and his estranged father (J.K. Simmons) in a desperate quest to rewrite the fate of the planet.
Imagine finding out all of your hard work and dedication over the years will be pointless in thirty years. How depressing would that be to know nothing you do in the world matters anymore? Would society still stand or crumble into pieces? These are just a few of the questions asked in The Tomorrow War. Director Chris McKay (The Lego Batman Movie) teams up again with actor/executive producer Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) to take on an alien invasion from the future to save the world. It’s fun, full of a multitude of cheesy moments, while being honest and unapologetic about every inspiring moment it throws at you.
The concept used for the plot is engaging beyond measure. Unlike past films where an alien invasion commences out of nowhere, here there’s a warning instead of an immediate threat of an imminent apocalypse. Globally every civilian is attempting to live their best life, and then instantly the playing field becomes even and forces everyone to join forces. The idea of this social experiment is enough for the price of admission alone, and it’s great that this film offers so much more than that as well.
We learn most of this through the lens of Pratt’s character Dan. He’s a family man, provider, and ex-military, and it’s extremely difficult not to fall in love with his character immediately. While already being an entertaining film, Chris Pratt’s involvement takes it to the next level. He’s very charming on screen and delivers a performance you can’t help but to root for.
There’re a few supporting characters that help him along the way, like Charlie (Sam Richardson) for the comic relief and James Forester (J.K. Simmons) as the father who’s around to fill in Dan’s backstory and be in close proximity whenever you need him to blow something up. Both serve their roles justice and are a great overall addition to assist in the completion of this project.
If you’re here for the motivational speeches, grandiose adventure elements, and excessive action, The Tomorrow War has everything you desire and so much more. At times it could be exhausting but the amount is well deserved given the consequences in this film. There’re so many bullets flying and explosions galore, that I thought this was a Michael Bay film for a few moments, but it’s still McKay flexing in the director’s chair showing all that he’s capable of. The alien design that he’s behind was remarkable as well. It’s great that the film asked you to wait to fully see what they look like which makes the reveal that much more suspenseful. They’re a great threat to tackle, as well, which adds on to the overall threat level the world faces too.
The overall story is good enough, as well as the plot, but it throws so much at you to consume in such a short amount of time that it may be difficult. This concept of time travel is tricky enough, and in this film a new twist is used to explain that in a way that may have never been done in past films. So while you’re watching and trying to comprehend it all, asking yourself, “does this make any sense?”, you’re thrown so much exposition and dialogue that you can’t give it that much thought or you may get lost. You may have an emotion of, “Who cares! I’m having so much fun anyways,” as you’re trying to understand everything. To be frank, if you want to enjoy this film to its maximum potential you may have to turn your brain off and enjoy the ride. That doesn’t mean that the plot holes shouldn’t be criticized, but my enjoyment level rose in spite of how implausible the overall plot may have been.
I’m also a huge fan of score music from action/adventure/superhero adaptations and this time around the artists cranked its usage up to the highest levels. Whether the dialogue was great or bad, the score drowns out every other word to the point it may distract you from a lesser developed portion of the film. Every other word and moment in the film is backed up by some superhero, epic music composition that makes you feel like putting the toilet seat down was as brave as jumping in front of a barrage of bullets to save a crowd. It’s hilarious and unafraid to stand out.
Simply put, this film is a ton of fun. It’s very self-aware and tries its best to succeed and does. It’s filled with a plethora of cheese ball moments but takes it in full stride, embracing what it truly is. Chris Pratt steals the show, but the rest of the cast is great too. While the assistance of the supporting cast nearly disappeared during certain segments of the film, which may rub you the wrong way, when they circle back around during the third act it makes the wait that much more satisfying. There are also a number of moments where the budget was suffering a loss, but there’s still so much to enjoy that in this case it doesn’t really matter.