[Nightmarish Detour Review] THE TOMORROW WAR
Courtesy of Amazon Studios
Nothing goes better with summer than a massive, action-packed summer blockbuster. Well… maybe watermelon or tequila. THE TOMORROW WAR is exactly the sort of sci-fi adventure that begs to be breathlessly enjoyed with an extra-large bowl of popcorn. Exciting and highly effective, THE TOMORROW WAR is exactly the release I’ve been waiting for!

The film stars Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic World franchise), Yvonne Strahovski (“The Handmaid’s Tale“), J.K. Simmons (Palm Springs),  Betty Gilpin (The Hunt), and Sam Richardson (Werewolves Within) and is helmed by director Chris McKay.

In THE TOMORROW WAR, the world received an urgent message from the future. By the year 2051, mankind will be near extinction as the planet is losing in a global war against a monstrous alien species. In a desperate bid for survival, soldiers from the future enlist soldiers and civilians from the present to be transported to the future and join the fight. Dan Forester (Chris Pratt) is an ex-soldier turned family man and high school science teacher and he must team up with the greatest minds of tomorrow and the bravest heroes of today to rewrite his fate and the fate of the world.

When it comes to action, THE TOMORROW WAR sets a very high bar. The film opens on a panicked note and throws the viewer straight into reaction. That high energy carries through most of the film and is driven by the stakes amping up and excellent action scenes. The fact that many of the film’s characters are everyday people adds a small note of relatable humanity to the otherwise fantastical world of the action hero. It equally adds a sense of danger and dread.

CHRIS PRATT, EDWIN HODGE, and SAM RICHARDSON stars in THE TOMORROW WAR

On its face, the story of a futuristic battlefield and man’s war against invading monsters seems like standard fare for a summer action film – but that would be a surface-level assumption. Not only is the premise and execution of THE TOMORROW WAR fairly innovative, but the narrative does not follow a smooth path. Time jumps are one thing, but there are moments in THE TOMORROW WAR where one isn’t 100% certain that we will make it out alive. Any movie-goer knows that the heroes always win, but the film takes a sideways approach to its wins and losses. The result feels more real, more high stakes, and more triumphant when those against-all-odds moments do occur.

Chris Pratt once again finds a comfortable spot as a performer who can carry off action stud and warm, fuzzy family guy at the same time. Again, it’s the personable nature of THE TOMORROW WAR that elevates the action and grounds the character moments. Pratt does an excellent job, as does the rest of the cast. Solid performances and cast choices all the way around. These are characters that you can root for out of desire over obligation.

Monster maketh movie and the aliens in THE TOMORROW WAR are truly terrifying. The first glimpse we get of these things is a bona fide “Oh shit!” moment and they only get scarier. It’s a fantastic monster design and the mechanics – you could say lore – surrounding them is another boost to this already great film.

THE TOMORROW WAR feels absolutely massive in its scope. Every element from the story and effects, to the cast and action sequences, have the impact of a major theatrical release. Again, it’s a summer blockbuster in every sense… and it’s coming to Prime Video streaming. Especially for the spot we’re in, having faced our own global disaster, it’s exciting to see streaming content taken to such a high level. THE TOMORROW WAR is a summer film event of epic proportions.

THE TOMORROW WAR will be available on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, July 2, 2021.

Caitlin Kennedy
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