The Tomorrow War (2021)
Director: Chris McKay
Screenplay: Zach Dean
Stars: Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, J.K. Simmons, Sam Richardson, Edwin Hodge and Mary Lynn Rajskub.
The Overview: Beware of Spoilers…
Dan Forester (Pratt) is an ex-military high school science teacher who believes he is destined for something bigger. Forester will get his opportunity when he is drafted to fight in a war being held nearly 3 decades in the future.
Still with me?
Okay. In the future earth has been invaded by aliens who have killed almost everyone on the planet. In an effort to turn the tide and save humanity, future soldiers have come back into the past to recruit people to fight in the future. A worldwide draft is instated and draftees are sent to the future to fight aliens for seven days. If they survive they are returned to their proper time. Forester is drafted.
Forester and the others in his group learn there is no training. They are given weapons and transported to the future to kill aliens. Less than 30% will survive the seven days. In Forester’s group we have a nervous college professor, a tough as nails vet who has done three tours and a bunch of others who we learn nothing about (yep, they’re alien fodder). As soon as they are in the future Forester’s team is given a mission and off we go. Alien battles come fast and furious and we learn about the plan to save the world.
What I liked: Chris Pratt was good. This may be his best performance yet. Edwin Hodge is a standout as the soldier with 3 tours. Sam Richardson provides comic relief (although maybe too much in some spots). I loved seeing Mary Lynn Rajskub and wish she was given more to do. The action is non-stop once. I really liked how they explained who could participate in the time travel (coming and going). I liked the explanation of how the aliens got to earth. All through the movie I was thinking these creatures don’t have the brains for space travel.
What bothered me:
- Too many daddy issues. Forester has them with his dad and Forester’s daughter has them with him.
- The coincidences to save the day. We need a solution that will kill the monsters. Forester’s daughter (now grown) comes up with it. We need to figure out where the aliens arrive when they come to earth so we can be there to kill them. Forester’s wife brainstorms with him to figure it out. We need someone to figure out what the alien claw can tell us. Remember the nervous college professor? He can do it. We need a volcano expert. Hey, Forester has one in his high school class! We need a way to get into Soviet air space undetected. Uh, Forester’s dad can do it.
- Sometimes the aliens are lethal killing machines and sometimes you can go mano y alien and kick their butt (if they have a butt that is).
- (Most) Everything gets wrapped up too nicely: Forester was indeed destined for something bigger, daddy issues are resolved all the way around. Everyone (Forester, his wife, his daughter, his dad, nervous college professor, hardcore vet, nerdy high school volcano lover) has a role in saving the world.
- What I’d like to know: How does what Forester pulled off change the future (other than the obvious, there will be no aliens wiping out the earth)?
Despite the things I didn’t care for, The Tomorrow War has a core cast that is likeable, a script that keeps things moving and a conflict that involves saving the world. If you’re looking for a fun ride (and don’t give it too much thought) you’ll enjoy The Tomorrow War.