Directed by: #ChrisMcKay
Written by: #ZachDean
Film review by: Brian Penn
The concept of time travel has been frequently plundered by film makers over the years. The possibilities are endless if we suspend our disbelief for long enough. Surely the safer option is to visit the past where our 21st Century nous can see us through any rough patches. The more dangerous option is a journey into the future; unknown territory fuelled by evolution and intellectual advancement. But what happens when the future visits us in the present with an apocalyptic vision? It’s obviously time for Chris Pratt to flex his superhero muscles with a trusty automatic weapon to hand. I’m fighting it but my disbelief is already breaking loose.
The story begins in 2022 on the evening of the World Cup Final in Qatar. And wouldn’t you just know it soldiers arrive from 2051 to announce that life is on the brink of extinction. We learn the human race is fighting a war with alien invaders called the Whitespikes. The only hope is for soldiers from the present to save humanity in the future. Biology teacher and former Green Beret Dan Forester (Chris Pratt) watches the TV in disbelief and utters a line that is strangely prophetic, ‘this is a joke’. I couldn’t help thinking the same thing as a fanciful plot slowly weakens the film’s credibility.
Thousands are transported to the future as a bloody war begins. However, few soldiers return and a compulsory worldwide draft is sanctioned. Draconian measures are implemented as Forester is drawn in and selected for special assignment. Time and space mean that Forester’s commanding officer in the future is his own daughter Muri (Yvonne Strahovski). Dan makes it back to the present armed with intelligence on the enemy. But needs expert help so turns to his errant father (J.K. Simmons) to save the world from destruction.
For all its faults the Tomorrow War is strangely watchable. The combat sequences are genuinely gripping as the film maintains a powerful aesthetic. But when the light show finishes it is little more than science fiction by numbers. The narrative is crying out for more humour and the excellent J.K. Simmons is used too sparingly. The film lacks identity and feels more like a hybrid of Alien and War of The Worlds. Sadly it’s not even the same sport let alone the same ballpark. But will keep fans of the genre happy and don’t doubt the sequel is already on the storyboard.