REVIEW: The Tomorrow War

Premiering on Amazon Prime tomorrow (July 2nd), The Tomorrow War is an epic action packed time travel and alien invasion story starring Chris Pratt and Yvonne Strahovski. It has all the elements I love from blockbusters such as Independence Day and Edge of Tomorrow, while still managing to remain unique, and hugely enjoyable. I just wish I could have seen it in a cinema, on the biggest screen possible.

We waste little time in getting straight into the meat of the plot. It’s approaching Christmas 2022 and family man Dan Forester (Chris Pratt) is arriving home, where a big party is currently well underway. Wife Emmy (Betty Gilpin) and young daughter Muri are there to greet him and there’s discussion of a Christmas card that’s arrived for Muri from Dan’s estranged father James (J.K. Simmons), along with a potential new job for Dan. A football match is playing on the TV and we join the players just as a large portal opens up on the pitch mid-game (imagine the uproar if this had happened during England v Germany earlier this week!). As armed soldiers begin stepping through the portal, everyone in the stadium, along with those watching at home, is obviously starting to get a little freaked out. One of the soldiers addresses the TV cameras, and the world, informing us that they have come from 30 years in the future, where the human race is currently losing a war against alien invaders. Only about half a million humans remain, and they desperately need people from our time to head into the future and join the fight.

The enlistment process begins, with all those meeting the required criteria being whisked off into the future on a tour which lasts 7 days. A device attached to your forearm keeps you notified of your remaining time and then, providing you’re still alive when your time is up, you’re immediately brought back to the present. It’s not just the military being drafted into the fight either, with civilians getting the call too. And there’s no lengthy training involved, just a briefing on the gun you’ll be packing, along with an overview of the enemy you’ll be facing.

Meanwhile, the knowledge that the human race is set to be pretty much wiped out in 30 years time isn’t sitting well with a lot of us in the present day. Working as a science teacher, former veteran Dan is having to deal with students who are now wondering what the point is of studying for a future that they’re not likely to have, while Emmy works as a counselor for those who have returned from their seven days in active service and are feeling traumatised.

And then Dan gets the call, with just 24 hours to say goodbye to his family. After a brief introduction to the fellow civilians who’ll be joining him, they’re all whisked up into the sky, only to be dropped slap bang into the middle of all out war in 2051. It’s intense, there are many casualties, and I absolutely loved it.

Despite clocking in at well over two hours, The Tomorrow War moves along at a very brisk pace, never feeling boring. After his first encounter with the ‘White Spikes’, Dan meets up with scientist Vicki Winslow (Yvonne Strahovski) who is developing a toxin that she hopes will wipe out the aliens and she’s keen to make use of his science knowledge before his seven days are up. There are more intense action pieces along the way, including an attempt to capture the larger female ‘queen’, the key to the successful development of the toxin. The White Spikes themselves are certainly terrifying and formidable, all limbs and power, and with just a couple of weak points for the soldiers to try and aim for.

A final push to complete the toxin, with Dan just moments from returning back, and thousands of White Spikes making their way to the research facility to rescue the female, is an absolute blast. It’s the kind of thing that would act well as the finale for most movies, but there are still another twenty to thirty minutes left to go at this point, and despite the action moving to present day, the best is still to come.

Some time travel questions are raised early on by the new recruits, and are suitably answered with a river and lifeboat analogy, but The Tomorrow War, as with most movies involving time travel, does throw up a lot more questions that you kind of just have to gloss over and roll with. For me, this was just a hugely enjoyable blockbuster movie with a great concept, plenty of exciting action and heartwarming family moments. 

The Tomorrow War (2021) Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 140min | 2 July 2021 (UK)
Summary: The world is stunned when a group of time travelers arrive from the year 2051 to deliver an urgent message: Thirty years in the future, mankind is losing a global war against a deadly alien species. The only hope for survival is for soldiers and civilians from the present to be transported to the future and join the fight. Among those recruited is high school teacher and family man Dan Forester (Chris Pratt). Determined to save the world for his young daughter, Dan teams up with a brilliant scientist (Yvonne Strahovski) and his estranged father (J.K. Simmons) in a desperate quest to rewrite the fate of the planet.


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