Reel Reviews | The Tomorrow War

By Charles Kirkland Jr.

Chris Pratt continues to delve into the action genre as a family man drafted to fight in a future battle in The Tomorrow War.

Dan Forester (Chris Pratt) is a former soldier who is trying to find his way as a teacher after he has been discharged from the war.  He is doing his best to be a better father to his daughter and husband to his wife than his father.  One day while watching a soccer match on television with his family, a woman appears on the field flanked by soldiers who declares that the fate of humans on the Earth is in jeopardy because a war is being fought and lost thirty years in the future against aliens known as the Whitespikes.  A few months later, a worldwide draft has been instituted and the war is still being lost.  Dan is finally drafted himself and is sent to the future with a special mission that may actually save the Earth. 

Written by Zach Dean (24 Hours To Live), The Tomorrow War is a sci-fi action thriller directed by Chris McKay (The Lego Batman Movie) and stars Pratt with Yvonne Strahovski, J.K. Simmons, Betty Gilpin, Sam Richardson, Edwin Hodge, Keith Powers, Mary Lynn Rajskub and Jasmine Mathews.

The Tomorrow War is an interesting mash-up of The Terminator, Independence Day, and Avengers: Endgame into a story that is not exactly precise but completely enjoyable.  Everything about this movie is familiar but is executed captivatingly well.  So well that viewers will be led to look past the time travel problems that would send the Time Variance Authority scrambling in various directions to fix. 

Pratt has a knack for these adrenaline-fueled and weirdly comedic action films.  While Pratt does not access his Star-Lord for this film, his Owen Grady (Jurassic World) is in full effect.  Pratt shows a very good range of emotion in this film, re-affirming that he is more than the wise-cracking, goofball from the MCU so many have come to love.  Yvonne Strahovski does a cool job playing the commander of the science unit in the future who calls upon Dan Forester from her past for the super important mission vital for the success of the war effort.

Produced by Paramount Pictures, The Tomorrow War was slated for a theatrical release over a year ago.  Unfortunately, due to the effect of the pandemic, the theatrical release was scrapped and the film was sold to Amazon for distribution.  Chris McKay’s second non-animated feature film is marvelously well done, with excellent pacing that consistently draws viewers into the story and does not let go.  It can only be anticipated how good this film would have been on a large screen.  The special effects are well done and the fighting scenes are engaging but some of the impact is lost in the less-than-immersive experience of a home theater. 

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, language, and some suggestive elements, The Tomorrow War is a hoot of an action film and is a really good, old-fashioned, July 4th blockbuster that attempts to transcend its limits as an Amazon release.  It would have been perfect to be released in the theaters and experienced on a large screen.  Pratt is quietly becoming a superstar that commands our attention and could possibly have a third franchise to helm.

The Tomorrow War can be seen on Amazon Prime Video. 

Grade:  B-