Directed by Chris McKay and starring Chris Pratt, Amazon Studios’ latest original movie The Tomorrow War sees mankind fighting a war that has yet to happen, the consequences of which, should we lose, will result in our extinction.
The year is 2022. Dan Forester (Chris Pratt), an ex-soldier turned high school science teacher, is enjoying an ordinary December night with his family when an unexpected anomaly occurs: men and women from another dimension in space appear through a portal with a dire message for the world – thirty years in the future, humanity is waging a war against an alien entity, whom is dangerously close to wiping out all life on earth.
As a result, the world is forever changed. So-called ‘jump facilities’ are built to send soldiers into the future to help our descendants fight this apocalyptic battle. Unfortunately, the majority of soldiers die in the field, so governments pass a global conscription order, and ordinary citizens are forced to enlist. Months later and earth’s population has drastically declined, with only half a million survivors remaining. During this time, Forester is amongst the newest wave of civilians drafted for the war effort. If he is to refuse, his wife will take his place. Despite his efforts to escape such a summons, Forester ultimately decides to sacrifice himself for the sake of his family.
Each tour of duty is seven days; if Forester can survive that long, he will be allowed to return home. But when the future – when fate – is already predetermined, does surviving another day, another week, another year even matter? Are second chances truly possible?
McKay’s film follows in the footsteps of Greenland, another Amazon disaster flick, by featuring yet another original twist on the apocalypse by intertwining the concept of time and its accompanying paradoxes. In many instances, such a genre tends to produce nothing but copies of a handful of plotlines, so it is nice to see something a bit more out of the box.
Hollywood’s trend of placing emphasis on a film’s computer-generated visuals continues here, and the efforts produced are wholly impressive. The design of the White Spikes, the aliens hell-bent on destroying the planet are quite terrifying, seeing as they’re 1/3 lizard, 1/3 arachnid and 1/3 The Maze Runner’s man-eating grievers.
Cast wise, while there are many supporting players on the board, Pratt’s Forester is the protagonist who is given centre stage the most consistently. His character is reminiscent of his previous roles: the funny but kick-ass combat hero, a battle-wise leader who knows how to survive. Forester is a solid stereotype to include in the film but doesn’t undergo any major growth. Everyone else, despite a few other big names, tend to fade into the background due to their limited screen time.
The score is, for lack of a better phrase, quite epic, and is a large factor in developing suspense and the uneasy, paranoid-drenched atmosphere that is characteristic to the end of the world. Overall, the scale of the production design is large as well, which provides the actors and the chaos each new scene introduces to unfold.
The Tomorrow War is a satisfying summer film, offering up a plentiful dose of excitement for viewers and their families. The idea of mankind uniting to fight, not for a flag or an ideology, but for each other is surprisingly touching for an action film, yet it is nice to see filmmakers addressing this issue nonetheless, since it does parallel our current global circumstances.
However, cooperation notwithstanding, there is a reason time isn’t something to be meddled with; borrowing that time, trying to wind it back or attempting to rewrite it are all equally dangerous. As the film asks, what would you do, if time was your enemy?
The Tomorrow War is available to stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video from July 2nd
by Kacy Hogg
Kacy is an English Lit student living in the Great White North (no not Winterfell unfortunately), Canada. Her favorite films include the Harry Potter series, Cinderella, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Hangover, and Lady Bird. She’s also an avid binge-watcher of Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. You can follow her on Twitter here: @KacHogg95