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'Tomorrow War' Review With Casey

The Tomorrow War was released on July 2 this year and is available exclusively through streaming on Amazon Prime. When I watched this film conclude and I started to write this review, I thought to myself, "Where do I start?" And anyone who's been a teacher or a judge on a reality competition series knows the phrase, "Where do I start?" is not a good thing.

The Tomorrow War stars Chris Pratt (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, 2018) as a boring, ex-military, family man who is drafted into a future war alongside hundreds of other people, forcing him to time travel decades forward to fight a race of deadly aliens. (The aliens are nicknamed Whitespikes I assume because the term White Claw is already taken by the famed hard seltzer brand.) 


Science-fiction films are always great opportunities for exciting action sequences and experimentations with narrative structure like in Edge of Tomorrow (2014) and Looper (2012). And The Tomorrow War boasts plenty of action, including an exploding helicopter crash, an exploding cruise ship crash, and a rushing snowmobile. Shocker! The snowmobile does not explode, but it does launch through the air like an Olympic pole vaulter. 


The action scenes and visual effects are complicated, tenacious, and they're a lot. (The scenes revealing the time travel process and then the stealthy aliens' bodies are actually lots of fun.) Unfortunately, the dialogue is as flat as an action hero's abs since the lines lack any maturity and the performances lack any noticeable depth, except for the earnest portrayal by actress Yvonne Strahovski (The Handmaid's Tale, 2017-2021). It's almost as if Strahovski is determined to not be in a bad or formulaic film. Chris Pratt does a satisfactory job in the action scenes and comedic moments, but he's noticeably uncomfortable and wooden during the emotionally dramatic ones. 


Too many dad jokes, too many alien attacks, and too many gunshots overshadow the thought-provoking themes of traveling through the future to better understand your past. (Only a bit of that psychological time-travel theme gets the spotlight in a rickety conversation between father and daughter.) It's a grim formula used all too often in action films with or without scary aliens.

Casey T. Allen is a native of Utah who graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelor's degree in English in 2007. He has worked in many capacities throughout USU campus and enjoys his time at UPR to continually exercise his writing.