Film Review – The Tomorrow War (2021)

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

14 responses to “Film Review – The Tomorrow War (2021)

  1. I think I mainly enjoyed this because it was just what I was in the mood for when I sat down and watched it, and rather than being annoyed at how much it reminded me of other movies, it kind of made me enjoy it. Even the stuff that I thought was stupid I was still entertained by, but again I think if I wasn’t in the mood for something that you just had to not think too much about I probably would have hated it.

    • I get that for sure, I wish I had been in more of a mood to tolerate this type of film ha. I felt throughout that this had the chance to be so much better and can’t honestly recall one actually fun sequence or memorable set piece from the entire two hour plus time I spent with it.
      I really felt like Chris Pratt was miscast in this role to.

  2. I’ve been a bit baffled by some younger viewers almost literally attacking critics for their reviews on this, saying things like ‘just because it’s full of plot-holes doesn’t make it a bad film if I enjoyed it’ and I’ve been trying to explain what a film critic is, and why they’re allowed to say that, and why you’re also allowed to enjoy it but the circle of stupidity is too tough to break!

    Basically, thank you for this review and being logical. 🙂

    • Yep its not like some films can’t be enjoyable plot holes and all but beside the stupidity of this films plot there wasn’t a single engaging character or memorable set piece in the whole 2 hour plus runtime ha. It was like a poor mans video game come to life.

  3. It’s damn shame that this movie turned out to be a dud, and a waste of Chris Pratt’s talents and a pretty cool premise. Honestly from its premise, I thought they’d be recruiting people from past wars like Afghanistan or Vietnam, not random civilians who have no combat experience or training. And from the looks of it, the movie would actually make for a fun, mid-budget video game than a movie.

    I’ll definitely be skipping this one, since we have better action movies coming out this month and the next.

    • It’s the type of movie that really does feel like a glorified video game, only the film failed to put in any memorable set pieces or moments of visual spectacle.
      A real missed opportunity overall.

  4. I liked it. And I am critical of movies. But I am able to suspend reality and look at the film as intended, not as a science-pure sociological comment. It’s called entertainment, and on that, it delivers.

    • I like to think I can enjoy films some would say are dumb fun, silly or even sometimes immature but sadly I found very little fun to be had in this film.

  5. Pingback: The Best & Worst of 2021 | Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys)·

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