In 2022, soldiers from the future of 2051 arrive to warn the world of an impending alien invasion, and bring new recruits to 2051 to help fight them. Biology teacher and Iraq War veteran Dan Forester (Chris Pratt) is drafted into the fight and jumps to 2051 to help save humanity...
You almost have to marvel at the level of obliviousness that 'The Tomorrow War' brings to the table. For a start, it's an action movie set in a future war where humanity must band together to stop an alien invasion, and time-manipulation plays a big role in it. Right there, you're inviting comparisons with 'Edge of Tomorrow' and the 'Terminator' franchise and yet 'The Tomorrow War' offers nothing remotely inventive compared to either of them. Next, it's a movie with a subtext about global warming destroying our future, yet it's being released on a streaming service owned by a company that regularly destroys millions of unsold stock in waste and increased its carbon footprint by 19% during the pandemic.
'The Tomorrow War' is another CGI action gloop-fest that's slugged its way onto Amazon Prime and has nothing to say for itself. Sure, it's going for big thrills and it's got Chris Pratt, but there's something so bland and annoyingly trite about it all. Pratt veers from smell-the-fart acting to yucking it up with one-liners. JK Simmons tries to elevate things in his sole scene, but you can't help but be fixated by his giant arm guns instead of the clunky dialogue he's rattling off. Betty Gilpin, a fantastic actor with range, presence and humour, is reduced to being Wife Exposition Character. Yvonne Strahovski is Military Exposition Character, meaning you can't blame her for the dull performance on her part. Even Sam Richardson, always a delight in any role he takes up, is reduced to Comic Foil Character to Pratt's Military Teacher Dad character with flat results.
Throughout 'The Tomorrow War', it all feels so aggressively like a mass-market advertisement for the US military that it feels like the CGI aliens are just getting in the way of it. Although Chris McKay has a background in animated movies like 'The LEGO Batman Movie' and 'The LEGO Movie 2', live-action movies clearly aren't his forte. Indeed, the movie feels like it's been edited with a chainsaw and the overbearing score by Lorne Balfe just zaps any kind of natural tension and atmosphere out of each and every scene.
The script by newcomer Zach Dean is leaden with trailerspeak, not to mention a concept that has been done before and done better. Time-travel movies don't necessarily have to be complex to be enjoyable and entertaining, but they do have to try something new or at least exploit audience expectation in a way that gives them something they haven't seen before. 'The Tomorrow War' doesn't do any of this. You've seen this movie before, and you've seen it done better. It's a knock-off, Wish.com version of something more inventive and exciting.
Nothing, but nothing about 'The Tomorrow War' is redeemable. There are so many better movies out there, even on Amazon Prime, that are worth watching instead of this. That Amazon paid Paramount close to $200 million for the distribution rights to this is mind-boggling. They could have easily given that money to Doug Liman to make a sequel to 'Edge of Tomorrow' and it would have been a far better use of that money. Better yet, they could have given that $200 million to literally any environmental group and it would have made a better impact than a crappy action movie about saving the planet.