From his days as the funny man in Parks and Recreation to being at the top of the list when an action hero is needed, Chris Pratt has quickly cemented himself as Hollywood’s first choice action man. And once again he finds himself centre stage in Amazon Prime exclusive, The Tomorrow War.
The world watches in shock as the 2022 Qatar World Cup is interrupted by a group of time-travelling soldiers. Proclaiming “We are you, 30 years in the future” and have come to recruit future soldiers from the present (or past depending how you wish to interpret it) to fight a losing war against some unwelcome alien invaders. A world-wide draft ensues and biology teacher/ex-marine Dan Forester (Chris Pratt) gets his call up. Leaving his wife and young daughter behind to join thousands of other civilians to fight a war in 2051. A war that hasn’t happened in their lifetimes yet.
Using game changing technology, Forester along with the last of humanities hope, will be transported to the future in an attempt to alter the tide in a war that looks to offer certain defeat. After surviving his first encounter with the Earth invaders, he reports to Romeo Command (Yvonne Strahovski). An army colonel and scientist heading the operation, who believes she has the answer that could save the world not only from the current war, but the war that is still yet to happen 30 years from now.
Some of you may remember the first time you watched Will Smith punch an alien in the face, and following up with the classic line “Welcome to Earth” in Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day (1996). Or if you go further back to Ridley Scott’s far more horrifying approach, when you first meet the xenomorph in Alien (1979). The Tomorrow War sadly doesn’t offer such memorable moment. As a matter of fact, time will tell if anything you witness in director Chris McKay’s Sci-Fi, big budget blockbuster will be rendered as memorable.
Chris Pratt is an easy sell in today’s market. He has the charm, charisma and genuine acting ability to carry any role, no matter how mediocre the material is. With the Tomorrow War he doesn’t do anymore beyond the ordinary. Flashing his biceps, firing a range of weapons and becoming the hero our scenario needs. There’s less of the funny stuff we see from him in Parks and Recreation and his work in the MCU as Star-Lord, but in fact we get a hard-working family man who understands the task he is given in order to save his family from future catastrophe.
The Tomorrow War sticks to the alien invasion algorithm. They invade, the United States get pissed off, and they send a group of unqualified warriors to save the world. “Oorah”. The inclusion of time travel is where this film has the potential to take it to greater success, but it only brings up more questions than it attempts to answer. Using time travel as a narrative tool can always bring a long list of scientific inaccuracies and story specific loop holes. Both of which are very apparent here. The ideas are there, but the answers are not. The Tomorrow War is not as forward-thinking as it perhaps wanted to be, and would be better enjoyed if you switch off and let the action heavy set pieces take control.
More popcorn entertainment dished up in Pratt portions of action indulgence. The movie runs a little too long, and seemingly suffers from multiple endings and despite predominantly being set in the future, the more enjoyable elements come from its present day setting. Action orientated fun, but fails to tell a more grasping and worthwhile story.