TOMORROW WAR (2021, Amazon Prime) promises a whole lot of good plain fun and tries hard to deliver, though I found it overall kinda goofy. Let me explain.
Dan (the always likeable Chris Pratt) is a military veteran turned scientist who is having a hard time getting a good job in his new field as he lacks experience. Suddenly, during a broadcast of the World Cup, soldiers appear on the field in a flash of light. They tell the world they’re from the year 2050, a time when aliens have overrun most of the planet and humanity is at the edge of extinction. Join us and fight, their leader says. Millions of people are drafted and sent through the time portal, and few return. Then Dan’s number comes up.
Okay, so what I liked here was the minor commentary about time travel, such as people who are drafted are those who are dead in 2050 (to avoid a time travel paradox, though other paradoxes are conveniently ignored) and society falls into crisis and despair as nothing anybody does seems to matter since it’ll all be over in 30 years. Besides that, the acting is fine, though the role doesn’t play to Pratt’s strengths, and he comes across as kind of bland if sympathetic. The aliens are pretty well crafted, and the action sequences are fairly epic.
The problem is the film’s ambition, as it does so much that everything lines up perfectly such that the story feels, well, utterly scripted and then rushed at the end, where the heroes decide they have to solve the problem themselves (and then nearly trigger the apocalypse three decades early). The father-daughter relationship at the center of the story isn’t strong enough to carry an otherwise heavily derivative effort, so as usual with many Hollywood action movies, I found myself not caring about any of it. The same reaction I had to ARMY OF THE DEAD, a recent watch, though the film also reminded me of EDGE OF TOMORROW, which handled a similar subject so much better and made me care about the characters and the stakes.
Party pooping over. TOMORROW WAR isn’t a bad film. and it’s kind of fun. I just personally found it pretty generic and forgettable.