THE TOMORROW WAR review by Mark Walters – Chris Pratt headlines a time travel thriller

THE TOMORROW WAR review by Mark Walters – Chris Pratt headlines a time travel thriller

THE TOMORROW WAR is premiering this week on Amazon Prime Video, a futuristic Sci-Fi thriller starring Chris Pratt, and one that he also executive produced. The story involves people traveling back in time from the year 2051 to tell present day humans that they’re fighting a war in the future, one they’re outnumbered in. They need to draft folks to travel forward in time to help them in their battle… yes, I know, that’s pretty convoluted, and if you overthink it then it probably makes no sense… but just go with it. Time passes and millions die, but the drafts continue eventually recruiting school teacher and former military man Dan Forester (Pratt), who must leave behind his wife (played by Betty Gilpin) and young daughter to do his duty. Dan joins an unlikely team comprised of seasoned fighters and average folks as they head into the future for uncertain war.

Once there they see the threat, horrifying beasts that are fast, deadly and hungry for human flesh. No disrespect to the dinosaurs of JURASSIC WORLD, but the creatures in this film are truly terrifying. Outmatched and terrified, Dan and the others do what they can to fight and survive, eventually meeting up with commanding officer Romero (Yvonne Strahovski), who takes Dan under her wing and explains what they know about these monsters. Facing unbelievable odds, Dan and Romero discover a possible advantage and must survive long enough to exploit it, before the entire Earth is doomed.

One thing I loved about this movie is how it felt like a classic and familiar Sci-Fi thriller, almost like cinematic “comfort food” that is akin to what came before it, but still very much its own thing. This movie is all the things you loved about 1980s and 1990s Sci-Fi epics, but with a modern day flare, and will likely become an instant fan-favorite. THE TOMORROW WAR is like THE TERMINATOR meets ALIENS and INDEPENDENCE DAY, a smart and engaging thrill ride that rarely lets up. Chris Pratt leads a terrific cast in this wildly entertaining time travel thriller, complimented by powerhouse performers like J.K. Simmons (as his estranged father), and likable newcomers like Sam Richardson who add comic relief to the proceedings. Richardson in particular has one of the funniest “frightened hero” moments I’ve ever seen in a film, almost certainly destined to become a meme. I also enjoyed seeing Yvonne Strahovski in a sizable role, as I always liked her on the series CHUCK, and here’s she’s given some great moments. The only actor who seems a bit wasted is Betty Gilpin of GLOW fame, who we’ve seen be tough and formidable in THE HUNT, but here she’s just restrained to playing the worried wife back home. I like Gilpin a lot, and was hoping she’d have more to do. Pratt also feels a bit restrained here, but in a good way. Gone is the wisecracking guy we’re used to seeing, as he becomes more of a solid action hero this time. One thing Pratt has going for him (other than rugged good looks) is charm, and he brings that to this role in a way that makes the jokes unnecessary, which I found refreshing.

This is directed by Chris McKay, who previously directed LEGO BATMAN and served as editor on THE LEGO MOVIE. This is his first live action feature film, and he really knocks it out of the park. It’s slick and polished, and paced quite well, especially considering its two hour and forty minute run time. I was never bored, but I do wonder if some scenes could have been cinched up a bit more. All in all THE TOMORROW WAR is a dizzying Sci-Fi masterpiece, destined to become a genre classic. It is so much fun and so exciting, my only major complaint is not seeing it on a big screen.

In The Tomorrow War, 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.

THE TOMORROW WAR hits Amazon Prime on July 2, 2021

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About the Author

Born and raised in Dallas, Mark has been a movie critic since 1994, with reviews featured in print, radio and National TV. In 2001 he started the Entertainment section of the Herorealm website, where he contributed film reviews and celebrity interviews until 2004. After three years of service there, he started, which has become one of the Dallas film community's leading information websites. Bigfanboy hosts several movie screenings in the Texas area, and works closely with film and TV studios and promotional partners to host exciting events and contests. The site also features a variety of rare celebrity and filmmaker interviews, and regularly covers the film festival circuit as well. In addition to Hollywood reporting, Mark has worked for many years as an advertising and sci-fi/comic book artist. Clients have included Lucasfilm Ltd., Topps Trading Cards, The Dallas Mavericks and The Dallas Stars. From 2002 until 2015 he managed the Dallas Comic Con, Sci-Fi Expo and Fan Days events in the DFW area. He currently catalogs rare comic books and movie memorabilia for Heritage Auctions, and runs the Dallas Comic Show conventions, but remains an avid moviegoer and cinema buff.