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"The Tomorrow War" Review

The Tomorrow War is a 2021 American science fiction film directed by Chris McKay and written by Zach Dean. The film stars Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, J. K. Simmons, Betty Gilpin, Sam Richardson, Edwin Hodge, Jasmine Mathews, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, and Keith Powers.

The world is stunned when a group of time travelers arrive from the year 2051 to deliver an urgent message: 30 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. Determined to save the world for his young daughter, Dan teams up with a brilliant scientist and his estranged father in a desperate quest to rewrite the fate of the planet.

The Tomorrow War was a surprise for me. I kind of knew it was coming out, but I didn't watch any of the trailers. So I went in not knowing anything about the film, but I'm glad to say it was a pleasant surprise.

Fans seemed to enjoy the film for the most part, but critics were a lot less warm. Some of the criticism was personal and some of it was unfairly somewhat political. But I felt like a lot of the criticism was unjustified to some extent. No the film is not perfect, not even close. And I don't want this review to be me complaining about the criticism of this film, but I feel like it's something I have to say.

First off how was the film? It was really entertaining with excellent action set pieces and surprisingly beautiful visuals. There's one particular scene that was mesmerizing with the characters and white tail monsters in the water. The shot alone made me clap. Chris Pratt was also really good at leading this film. I know he was Star Lord, but I would consider that more of an ensemble than him being a straight up leading man. Here though he is in full control and is excellent, especially when he's with his family. The relationship with him and his daughter is really the heart of this film, and he's really good at being a normal dude in the middle of this situation.

My biggest problem was that the film overstays its welcome a little bit, and that it felt as if there were two third acts. It ends and it's a good ending, but then it continues for another 30 or so minutes before having its second ending. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it. I do think it undermined some of the earlier film. You build up so much emotion only for them to ask you to do the exact same thing again moments later. I never quite got to that same level.

But overall I thought this was a really good film. Some people are describing it as a generic dumb summer flick, but I think it's leagues ahead of those films. I genuinely thought this was a well-crafted film that managed to be really entertaining.

Were there some logical questions? Maybe, and that's my biggest problem with the reaction to this film. Many people are calling this a plot hole filled stupid summer action flick, but I hole heartily disagree. I thought this was one of the most tightly packed time travel films I've seen. However, most people are crapping on the film's logical issues, but I think most of it is misguided. I thought the film gave an explanation or enough context clues for everything. For instance, why are people fighting in business suits? Because they don't have enough gear for everyone. I think it's a simple logical explanation that the film didn't need to say for me to understand. I don't know why I'm defending this film as much as I am because as I said before it's not a perfect film. I think it's the unfairly used double edged sword that I dislike. I hate when films hold my hand throughout the film and treat me like an idiot. Many people and critics have expressed that same sentiment, but then those critics will complain about A Quiet Place's "room of explanation" only to then turn around and complain that this film doesn't explain every little detail.

That little rant is over and it doesn't pertain to the film, but I felt that I had to say it. Overall, The Tomorrow War proved to be a great surprise with Chris Pratt leading this entertaining yet interesting film. From my understanding this is a completely original film that was given a 200 million dollar budget. I have to say I love it even more for that. I thought it was entertaining with great visuals and fantastically crafted action scenes. In the end this proved to be a straight up fun ride.

The acting was great. Chris Pratt was really good in this film. Chris Pratt will always be entertaining but he also managed to bring a lot of heart to his character.

Yvonne Strahovski was also really good. Her and Pratt had great chemistry and really do carry this film. Films like this usually don't give much time to characters, but here they really are the driving force.

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Sam Richardson is an actor I've liked in a few films, but here I think he's given his biggest role. And he's really good, although I did think some of his comedy was mistimed. There were some tense scenes that they tried to inject comedic relief into that really lowered the impact.

J.K Simmons is ripped, enough said. Overall this was a surprisingly great cast that gave excellent in a film that surprisingly put a big emphasis on character.

I don't want to spoil anything so I'm not going to go into detail, but this is a very basic story that works really well. There is a fair amount of exposition, but I understand why it's needed. Big concepts like this require some explaining, and this film does that while also having a story.

There were two third acts that did shift the story backwards I thought. I don't want to spoil the story, but it does drag at almost two and a half hours. The first ending was great and would've been sufficient enough. It almost feels like the third second act was a reshoot added onto an already complete film to give it a more Hollywood ending. It felt a little artificial.

Overall it's 90% great, and 10% not bad, but it makes you ask the question why. Some people have said that it destroys the rest of the film. While I disagree, it does undermine it to some extent. It doesn't go against the established logic of the film, but again it makes you ask why. Like I said before it's great until that second ending.

Overall this was a really good film that was way better than most summer action films. It had a great cast with a fantastic story. The film had great action scenes with fantastic visuals and really cool monsters. More importantly it was a fun film.

This film was a little hard to rate because I think it's a lot better than good, but it doesn't quite reach that great status. I think the ending and the fact that the film never did anything particularly special is what really kept it from being higher. But again overall just a really fun film.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Royce Proctor Jr


Pierre Sledge from Cleveland, Ohio on July 10, 2021:

It gave me what I wanted. Like with most time travel films, there were plot holes but the action made up for these lapses.

Nell Rose from England on July 07, 2021:

I thought it was great! I particularly liked the three-part thing. Some of those films just do the shoot stuff all the way through. This showed the beginning get them together, the fighting etc, then the search. loved it!

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