It’s no accident that The Tomorrow War got released on the Fourth Of Joly weekend. No doubt the film’s creators thought their creation might ride the groundswell of patriotism and love of country that occurs annually this time of year. Perhaps they were hoping that sentimentality might help to cover up the film’s many flaws. The idea of a film’s popularity based on emotions is not new. In fact, sci-fi fans are among the most sentimental movie-goers in the world. They remain loyal to films they remember as a great way back then that hardly deserve their affection, not considering how our sensibilities change.in time

If you are not certain, The Tomorrow War is a war movie; it says so right in the title, Which means all the classic war movie tropes are here. Including lots of macho masculinity,  life and death situations, bloodshed, and in this case, almost inconceivably massive body counts. This film has all the moments you might expect in a  movie about war moments of bravery from unexpected heroes and more classic war story tropes, including a touch of humor. A cast meant to represent people from all walks of life coming together over a common cause. The film is also based on several classic sci-fi premises. Premises that have gotten conveniently rearranged and polished up with a brand new coat of paint. Premises like ancient aliens, an alien invasion of said nearly unstoppable aliens, and a nightmare scenario where humankind is in a desperate struggle facing an existential threat. What makes things slightly different his time around is that it introduces time travel early on in the film’s narrative.

War and science fiction, not a bad combination. Lots of enjoyable films have come out of mixing those ingredients> Films like Starship Troopers (1997), Independence Day (1996), and of course, the well-loved modern classic The Edge Of Tomorrow (2014). The Tomorrow War is reminiscent of all those films which, if you are a new movie, that’s pretty good company. The problems with this movie begin when, after borrowing all the best ideas from all those other sources, it tries to marry them to a purely sentimental narrative involving the corniest, most sentimental, totally contrived feeling narrative about appreciating what’s right in front of you and getting a second chance in life.

Not familiar with this title? The Tomorrow War is a 2021 American military science fiction film directed by Chris McKay. It is produced by David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger, David S. Goyer, Jules Daly, and Adam Kolbrenner and written by Zach Dean. The film stars Chris Pratt (who also executively produced), Yvonne Strahovski, J. K. Simmons, Betty Gilpin and follows a mix of present-day soldiers and civilians sent into the future to fight an alien army. The cast and supporting cast asr are excellent in their respective roles, with Pratt hamming it up quite a bit.

Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate a little old-fashioned sentimentality, and there is nothing wrong with a story about the love between a father and his daughter. In fact, I am as sentimental as the next guy, maybe more, and there’s nothing wrong with corniness if it is done well. The thing is, this emotional subplot almost completely hijacks the entire film so that the action thriller part becomes the subplot, and the sentimentality takes center stage instead of the other way around. This film leans way too hard into sentimentality IMO. The writing rises to the challenge with weak dialogue during parts that call for something memorable. The Tomorrow War tries like hell to conjure some heart but fails to achieve that goal. One more thing, that final fight scene where father and son battle the gigantic alien ‘queen’ was meant, I am sure to give this film a memorable and heart-warming finish< but ends up being way over the top and way too long. I couldn’t shake the feeling this was a story created by the committee and not the heartfelt creation of an earnest mind. This, to me, is where the film blows it, and I am sure many of you have opinions of this film far less kind than I am here. If the film’s creators had not insisted on interjecting this overpowering sentimentality into the film, we might have a pretty good sci-fi war movie on our hands. Whether you think the film’s shortcomings are forgivable or not is up to you, dear reader.

The Tomorrow War actually does a pretty good job portraying the harsh realities of modern warfare into the 21st century and just how scary being in urban combat against an unknown enemy in unfamiliar territory can be, and just how suddenly fatal. Following the modern trend, like most action/thrillers these days, the film does make liberal use of CGI, which means a good chunk of this ‘live-action movie is actually animated. Like it or not, you may also enjoy it, because this is a trend that, as far as I can tell. Will be with us for at least a few more years, maybe decades. Besides, the aliens in this are truly nightmarish, a memorable synthesis of anthropoid and insect that is truly disturbing. Add to that they are tough and challenging to harm, and almost everything proof. They are like the equivalent of a fast-moving spider and a tank combined. What a waste of some truly frightening creatures

So,  overall, despite some memorable and dazzling cinematic moments, along with a pretty solid assortment of sci-fi premises as a foundation,  The Tomorrow War, while being moderately entertaining(mostly visual), in my opinion, falls short of greatness and is just another okay film in a myriad of recent action thrillers.

Our Score
C

By Craig Suide

A genuine (OCD) enthusiast of Sci-FI and fantasy. Addicted to stories. a life-long fan of movies, TV, and pop culture in general. Purchased first comic book at age five, and never stopped. Began reading a lot early on, and discovered ancient mythology, and began reading science fiction around the same time. Made first attempts at writing genre fiction around age 12 Freelance writer for Sci-Fi Nerd (Facebook), retired professional gourmet chef. ex-musician, and illustrator

One thought on “The Tomorrow War(2021): We Take A Look At The New Action-Thriller”
  1. Well, an overlooked possible storyline detail, in this movie, and also in the movie, “The Quiet Place” (both 1 and II), is that the aliens everyone is fighting are NOT the real aliens from another planet at all. Seriously, why would anyone think that a completely berserker, rampaging monster like these things could even create a star-faring civilization in the first place?! So what actually happened here, is that the true aliens trying to conquer the Earth, created a species of ‘War-Mutes’, genetically engineered beasts created solely for the purpose of fighting wars, whose diverse super-powers, are from the artificial combinations of genetic DNA from very diverse animal and insect species, which gives these artificially designed monsters greatly increased physical strength, near-invulnerability, a coordinated hive mentality like army ants, and nearly unlimited ferocity. And they would have a downside, to all of these excessive capabilities, in that, to supply enough energy for these physical assets, they must keep continually hunt and eat prey. And, if lacking an obvious human foe to slay, or even a target for their extreme aggressiveness, will then turn on each other. This is a beast that never learned to enjoy any downtime! Anyway, the real invading aliens somehow tricked everyone on Earth, into thinking these nearly-indestructible bio-weapons, an organic equivalent of a killing machine, are ‘really’ the actual invaders. Why bother with such elaborate bio-weapons, if they have UFO levels of technology, to make weapons that can do the same thing? They could, technically, but using that option, like nuking, or poison gas, or blasting cities to bits with particle beams, or even spreading disease spores, would poison the entire planets and destroy its ecology, so that these aliens, most likely humanoids like us, would not be able to live on Earth until many centuries had passed, to eliminate the lingering radioactive fallout, toxic poison pollutions, and lingering diseases. They would also want most of the cities infrastructures, and the vehicles and things we use, to remain, so that they could eventually use that as well. So, they send in their genetically-engineered attack dogs, to kill and eat all of the human inhabitants, in order to avoid all that. These ‘War-mutes’ would have a inherent weakness instilled in their bodies, by their designers, that would enable them to kill off all of these way-too-dangerous beasts, after they achieve that end. Finally, the humans battling these beasts, would not have relied solely on conventional weapons, but would have tried more options, like some bioweapons of their own, like a an Earthy disease that they would not immune to, or putting various, concentrated poisons on their bullets, so that even a minor wound from a gunshot would prove fatal to them. Seriously, if you want to slay a giant monster, you really don’t need a big anti-tank gun to do that, just a poison arrow!

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