Posted Thu Sep 2, 2021 at 07:55 AM PDT by Bryan Kluger
Summer movies come with certain expectations. Big budgets, top-notch action, one-liners, stellar cast, and sometimes time travel, aliens, and an end-of-the-world scenario are all ingredients that could make a summer blockbuster top priority of the hottest time of the year. All of this is true of course with the new high-octane sci-fi action flick The Tomorrow War that stars the Guardian of the Galaxy himself, Chris Pratt. This super-fun film not only delivers the action, the thrills, and the fun, but it also comes with an endearing and rather emotional message and at its core is a father-daughter story of epic proportions. The Tomorrow War is completely satisfying and a wonderful experience.
It’s very unfortunate that this film won’t be front and center at every big cineplex on the large silver screen due to the pandemic, because it’s that epic and grand. That being said, it might reach a wider audience on its debut with Amazon Prime at home, which for those who have big screens and killer sound systems – it will be all that more immersive. This rated R, terrifying action movie was directed by Chris McKay, who was responsible for The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie, where he and Chris Pratt struck up a working relationship. It’s paid off because now the two have teamed up in a stellar film with an amazing cast and some truly horrifying monsters, leaving the kid-friendly elements at the door for this outing. Everything is NOT awesome in The Tomorrow War as far as the story goes.
The Tomorrow War follows a man named Dan Forester (Pratt), who is a former military officer, but now a high-school science teacher who takes care of his wife Emmy (Betty Gilpin) and young daughter Muri. After some unfortunate news about a missed job and during their Christmas party watching the English futbol game on tv, a bright flash of lights appears at the World Cup game on television where humans appear in military gear and state they are from thirty years in the future where the world has mostly been wiped out by an alien invasion.
They have developed a time travel jump back to the present day in order to take many more people to the future in order to ensure the survival of the human race, which leads to a military draft of almost every able body on the planet. Some time passes and Dan’s name is called and is sent into battle. It seems he’s the only one in his large group who has had any sort of training, as he’s paired up with Charlie (Sam Richardson), a leading scientist, and Norah (Mary Lynn Rajskub), amongst others who have no idea how to load or shoot a gun. Once in the time jump and landing thirty years in the future, it’s clear that the killer aliens are about to win the fight for good as Dan and the members of his team try desperately to find a way to kill the aliens for good.
Having McKay as the director, along with some of the comedic talents on screen, there is a perfect blend of some dark humor and thrills throughout this movie in the form of hilarious dialogue after a big action sequence or some very realistic moments that might happen in these situations, such as someone constantly yelling an expletive while trying to shoot a gun for the first time and running away from a large alien monster. It’s fantastic when these elements come to play in The Tomorrow War. On the other hand, there is also an emotional story behind all the carnage, which is between Dan and his daughter throughout the film. This subplot, along with the one that centers around Dan and his father (J.K. Simmons) goes hand in hand and tackles some rough family issues of abandonment and more. The way these two relationships are handled are phenomenal and actually conjure up some real emotions and tears. It’s like a perfect storm of summer blockbusters all coming together in a wonderful way.
The aliens themselves are creepy and remarkable. Most films, even those in the MCU, have aliens and a lot of them are easily forgotten due to their design, but in The Tomorrow War, they are frightening, quick, scary-as-hell, and hungry for flesh and blood. They are some of the most memorable alien creatures of recent memory. The physics and science of it all do seem most logical in that there are some fairly great explanations on why certain things can and can’t happen, which some bring in current topics to the forefront. Pratt is great here and is mostly the straight man rather than the comedic relief. But his emotional turn is quite impressive as he continues his acting journey. The big comedic relief is Sam Richardson who is just stellar throughout.
The Tomorrow War is a fantastic thrill ride with some real horrifying moments, killer aliens, great acting, and even some emotinal sequences that tug the heartstrings. This is what a summer blockbuster is all about.
Written by: Bryan Kluger
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