The Tomorrow War 2021 Movie Review
Story: When the world is under attack by a deadly alien species in 2051, a group of time travellers jump to the present to warn humans of the impending doom. Now, civilians and soldiers, including war veteran Dan Forester (Chris Pratt), must do whatever it takes to stop the extraterrestrial threat in the future.
Review: Dan Forester (Chris Pratt) is a veteran now living as a school science teacher. He has a loving relationship with his wife, Emmy Forester (Betty Gilpin) and little daughter Muri (Ryan Kiera Armstrong). But he is estranged from his father, James (J.K. Simmons) who lives off the grid. Their lives are turned upside down when soldiers travel back in time with the astonishing news that humanity is almost wiped off the planet by powerful, lethal aliens around 30 years later. To combat them, civilians, including Dan, are recruited to time-jump into the future in an attempt to gain the upper hand, against all odds.
The first half of ‘The Tomorrow War’ feels a bit rushed, but the scenes between Dan and his daughter are given more weight. This slows down the frantic pace after a certain point, as the film throws around the usual conundrums associated with sci-fi time travel. Elaborating on this would mean spoiling key details, but sharp viewers will predict certain developments due to foreshadowing. Then again, many more will be able to see through the film’s numerous plot holes. One, in particular, involves vital information about the aliens casually dropped right before a crucial encounter. It doesn’t quite add up given the incredible stakes. Yet, the cast tries to make the most of the clunky script, even when it makes them sound awkward by cramming backstory and exposition together.
Having said all that – credit where it is due. Chris Pratt continues to impress as a lead action star, and his commitment to the character is commendable. Yvonne Strahovski shows her impressive range throughout, and J.K. Simmons is fantastic as a renegade techie who rages against the system. Simmons needs to be featured in more action roles like this; he’s just so much fun to watch as a grumpy old guy with a bone to pick. The key players and even some side characters hold their own despite the odd decisions they’re forced to play out.
A rehashed mush of sci-fi ideas from other films in this often explored genre, ‘The Tomorrow War’ doesn’t achieve enough to set itself apart. Although Chris Pratt and the cast do their best, this is an often baffling film whose exciting action sequences are squashed by a bloated screenplay.