Amazon had been heavily pushing their new big movie, The Tomorrow War. It was one of those that you’d expect to see on the big screen. However, it was created for Amazon but after a little bit in – you could see why. It had everything you wanted in a large-scale summer film: time travelling alien war. Before I get off track a bit, I want people to know that I enjoyed the movie. It was popcorn fun but filled with tropes.
Dan Forester (Chris Pratt) is an ex-military trying to get some type of job. While he has military experience, he doesn’t have practical experience. Which flies in the face of those military commercials that say businesses will want you. Unfortunately, this has been something military people have been dealing with since World War II. There was a movie about it too.
Feeling that he is destined for more, he sees young time travelers appear on the field of the World Cup. The movie doesn’t waste time with context or what is really going on. The warriors from the future have been drafting people from the present to fight their war. Only twenty percent of draftees return home. And when they do, they suffer from massive PTSD.
How does Forester figure into The Tomorrow War?
Forester meets up with Charlie (Sam Richardson), a tech entrepreneur, who has also been drafted. With Forester’s background as a science teacher, they deduce that the travellers from the future (30 years to be exact) are too young. Meaning that they weren’t born yet. All the draftees are forty and older. Meaning that those drafted will be dead, so they don’t create a paradox.
It about an hour before we see what the aliens look like. That leads to the first of a few major set pieces. They do create some tension and each figure that they will die within the next thirty years. However, Forester finds that he dies in the next seven.
Zach Dean’s script has some basic time travel tricks, the whole paradox issue. However, some of the fundamentals are a bit lost. During the major second act battle, Muri (Yvonne Strahovski) tries to send Forester back with a solution to stop the alien war before it begins. Forester says he will come back to save her. Okay, that might sound sweet for normal people, but when dealing with time travel – the future won’t exist. Since Muri is a scientist, as well, she would know that.
Forester’s future doesn’t add up.
The Tomorrow’s War is fun and gives you a lot to look at. However, when Muri goes into her past with Forester, her past (his future) experience seems a bit off. The future she described almost seemed like nothing that happened in the past seven days made a difference. As if, he just came back and said “fuck it” and continued his boring life.
Obviously, you can get into the temporal weeds when dealing with time travel. The movie itself was fun to watch. You can relax on the temporal mechanics of the movie, because people still think in the Back to the Future terms. The Tomorrow War has some weak CG, not to mention the present takes place in a year. It has the right amount of cheese and cliché to make it fun, not annoying.