Featuring time-travel, alien-hunts and action-adventure with a hint of enduring family connections between a father and daughter, Amazon Prime’s original film “The Tomorrow War” is recognizable in its story but remains a uniquely fun experience. At times, this movie’s stellar action sequences made it feel as memorable as “The Matrix.” Acting star Chris Pratt is at the helm of this film, playing the titular role of an ex-soldier now biology teacher drafted to fight a war 30 years in the future.
Audiences have seen it all when it comes to the sci-fi genre, from time travel to aliens, and now all of the above. Every so often a film like “The Tomorrow War” comes along and takes every sci-fi convention and merges them into one overly exuberant thriller that becomes a bit blinding in its efforts to satisfy content material. The screenplay completely collapses in its attempt to conjoin all of these otherworldly ideas and tropes, creating a plot that can be at times hard to follow.
After films like “Alien” and “The Thing” set the bar for groundbreaking visual storytelling with alien designs unlike any other before or after them, it was hard to connect with the menacing creatures tormenting our heroes in this film. The alien’s tentacle-based design, blended with the overuse of CGI practicality, made for an unappealing video game-like reality.
Chris Pratt is well known for his franchise starring roles in “Jurassic World” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Each of these films possessed huge fan bases before Pratt took on the lead roles, warranting a deeper look into Pratts’s screen work away from a major franchise installment. Pratt gives an undeniably honest and established performance with Betty Gilpin as his wife, providing a likable portrayal that is bound to catch viewers’ eyes. However, Pratt’s shortcomings as an actor are revealed in this film as his inability to deliver during key dramatic moments of the movie fails to match the work’s serious tone and nature.
At times, I felt myself seeking out Pratt’s well-known likable charm and charisma through his comedic style of acting. Yet none of these elements were needed from the script, which demanded a completely different performance for the character. The bar was set possibly too high for Chris Pratt. Nonetheless, the action components of the performance make for several gripping sequences which ultimately save the film.
In the final 30 minutes of “The Tomorrow War,” the real gore and vivacity come to life, fully succumbing to the influential sci-fi films before it. Even though these details are substantial, it is far too late into the script to generate any rumble for the overarching storyline. A key concept also addressed in these final moments was the father-daughter relationship between Dan (Chris Pratt) and his daughter Muri (Ryan Kiera Armstrong). This element was thoroughly set up, but altogether worthless in its delivery. The familial dynamic almost certainly ripped off “Interstellar’s” deep-rooted father-daughter relationship in the process.
“The Tomorrow War” seems to be an appealing sci-fi action screenplay that was adapted in the worst way possible. With established storylines and actors at its whim, the film undeniably had potential in its making. However, the final product was a descent into muddled science-fiction rubbish as a result of a messy combination of inspiration from the genre’s past classics.
“The Tomorrow War” is available for streaming on Amazon Prime.