Director – Chris McKay (The Lego Batman Movie)
Cast – Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, Sam Richardson, Betty Gilpin, J.K. Simmons
Plot – When a collection of humans from the future come to Earth in the present to warn of an incoming attack by aliens that leaves the planets population decimated, teacher Dan Forester (Pratt) is conscripted to jump from the present into the raging future war to help turn the tide against the rampaging alien forces.
“If there’s one thing that the world needs right now, it’s scientists”
Review by Eddie on 07/07/2021
One of Amazon Prime’s highest profile original releases yet with a price tag of $200 million in production costs and a premise that would usually suggest a bout into cinema screens around the world, there’s been a significant amount of hype and marketing surrounding the lead up to The Tomorrow War being available to stream into lounge-rooms across the globe but sadly this Chris Pratt lead sci-fi action flick is a DOA with a daft premise and lame execution that ensures this bloated mess of a film has zero chance of succeeding.
Directed by Chris McKay who is usually seen in the animated film space both in film and TV, War sees star and producer Chris Pratt try and test his mantle as a leading man with a less comedic role than we’ve seen from the likeable performer who made his mark with an incredible leap from “that guy” role in TV show Parks and Recreation to fully fledged Hollywood star in Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World films but showcasing that sometimes your best off sticking to what works, Pratt is lost in a nothing role as everyday family man turned alien fighter extraordinaire Dan Forester as his natural charisma and smarts are pushed aside for a thinly drawn caricature of a main character.
To be fair to Pratt, even if he dialled up the charisma to eleven and somehow managed to make Forester an interesting character to bring to life, not much would’ve saved War from its downright atrocious central concept that sees everyday citizens from “now” drafted and sent to the “future” where they can fight aliens that are destroying the world with aged weapons and literally zero training instead of the future citizens of this alien infested land just coming back to warn us to prepare for the war and start building the weaponry/training to prepare better for the fight ahead.
As is the case with any time travel film you have to leave a large amount of room for forgiveness and grace when it comes to things making sense as at the end of the day its all so far-fetched there’s little reason to usually care too much for things being tied up nicely in a logic sense but thanks to its po-faced nature and tiresome delivery, War isn’t having fun with its daft idea, rather its trying to be something its not and therefore forces us to have zero fun as an audience also.
There’s a undoubtedly a fun film somewhere in this over the top and ridiculous set up, its just like McKay, his screenwriter Zach Dean and in turn the films cast that also includes a trying hard Yvonne Strahovski and the wasted Betty Gilpin and bearded/bulked J.K Simmons didn’t know how to create that version of the film with none of the films sci-fi spectacles (that recall mid-budget level games), time travelling escapades or alien investigations bringing anything to the table that is overly enjoyable to consume.
Sometimes with films of the same DNA as War you’d wished you had the chance to witness proceedings on the big screen but its unlikely anything but a complete re-write and re-purposing of this material would’ve worked with not even the most awe-inspiring of big screen goodness and bells and whistles likely to have saved this forgettable affair from its early grave.
Final Say –
A sad misstep for all involved particularly its off-key leading man, The Tomorrow War should’ve been a fun Edge of Tomorrow like sci-fi romp but its nothing more than an overly long slog that fails to create a singular reason to care or moment to remember.
1 rooftop swimming pool out of 5