The Tomorrow War movie poster
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The Tomorrow War
The Tomorrow War movie poster

The Tomorrow War Movie Review

For the last year, with rare exception, we’ve been taught that blockbuster-esque movies that have gone straight to streaming services are going to be second-rate. To be generous. And yet here we are, with Chris Pratt’s The Tomorrow War debuting on Amazon Prime Video despite plenty of big-screen action, top-grade visual effects, and it being packed with entertainment value.

In other words, it’s a real shame that you’re going to watch this on your TV and not in a theater.

After the first movie trailer failed to impress, I went into The Tomorrow War expecting another mediocre theater-to-streamer production, a blockbuster wannabe.

But The Tomorrow War is a legit blockbuster.

It may not be as tight, lean, or creative as Edge of Tomorrow, the highly underappreciated Tom Cruise/Emily Blunt sci-fi thriller involving alien invaders and time travel, but The Tomorrow War still works as a much more straightforward and simplistic production involving alien invaders and time travel.

In the movie, Pratt plays a former military man who, along with millions (billions?) of other adults, are recruited to travel 30 years into the future to fight a seemingly unstoppable force of aliens who have driven humanity to the brink of humanity.

Don’t think too hard about it. Instead of spending time and effort developing a wormhole back in time, you’d think our future selves would have devoted more resources into creating weapons that are more advanced than modern-day machine guns and actually capable of killing the enemy. 

But that wouldn’t be as interesting, would it be?

Anyway… thanks to director Chris McKay (The LEGO Batman Movie) and crew, The Tomorrow Man owns its concept and delivers an effective action-thriller. McKay gives us several big action sequences, none particularly original but all solidly made and nail-biting to watch. The creature design is top-grade, and the visual effects reflect significant investment. Pratt and co-star Yvonne Strahovski make for compelling lead protagonists, too.

It’s not perfect, however. While it doesn’t feel long, at two hours and 15 minutes, The Tomorrow Man could easily have been 20+ minutes shorter. It takes a while to get to the action--in fact, it’s shockingly patient with the set up--and briefly stalls out in the third act. And the climax feels anticlimactic compared to an earlier sequence.

It may not push new boundaries, but The Tomorrow War is a rewardingly entertaining sci-fi action film that deserves to be seen on the big screen, even if you can only watch it on Amazon.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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