The Tomorrow War: Film Review

The Tomorrow War

Courtesy of Amazon Studios

Chris Pratt has become quite the action man these days – and after proving his credentials with Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World, he’s now kicking alien butt in The Tomorrow War.

The film opens with the 2022 World Cup in Qatar being interrupted by soldiers who emerge from the future and make a plea for help on the pitch. The human race is about to wiped out by aliens called the White Spikes and they want people to join them to fight in 2051. After military personnel are used up, the global draft of civilians begins, and former soldier-turned-biology teacher Dan (Pratt) signs up to help save the day.

This wasn’t the mindless action blockbuster I was expecting it to be. Sure, there are quite a few action scenes involving really ugly looking aliens and an insane amount of gunfire but it also takes a lot of time to establish the world, the time jump and the mission and dedicates a solid amount of time to nurturing relationships between the characters, like Dan’s team mates Charlie (Sam Richardson) and Dorian (Edwin Hodge) and particularly him and their colonel Muri (Yvonne Strahovski). It cares about delivering on the human, emotional side as well as the exciting action side and I liked that it had a good amount of meat on its bones.

However, the screenplay is generic, cliched and offers us nothing we haven’t already seen before. It could have done with a few more moments of comedy or just some levity – there are some (Richardson gets a great line about Will Smith and Miami) but I would have liked more, especially given Pratt’s sitcom background. Even though it lays down the groundwork, the emotional beats didn’t really resonate with me like they should – I just didn’t care about anybody. Also, the film is 2 hours and 20 mins and needed to be shorter. It really does go on a bit, especially towards the end, and I couldn’t wait for those suckers to die so we could wrap it up.

Pratt is a capable leading man who is likeable and convincing as an action hero but I wish he got to use more of his charm and comedy chops as Dan was fairly bland. I was excited to see Strahovski in this and wish she got to do more action but she plays an important role and puts in a solid performance. Betty Gilpin was completely wasted as Dan’s stay-at-home wife. Don’t cast Gilpin in a movie and then don’t use her! J.K. Simmons crops up in a few scenes and he’s always a welcome addition to any film, no matter how small the role.

The Tomorrow War comes close to being good but doesn’t quite get there. It’s simply fine, although it is entertaining enough for a one-time watch. It’s a shame it’s going on Amazon because it really deserved the cinema experience.

On Amazon Prime Video from Friday 2nd July

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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