Alien invasion is one of the favorite formulas in blockbusters. Aliens invade, the world is in danger of apocalypse, humans are on the verge of extinction. But how many are able to actually translate the situation? The sense of urgency is often pushed aside in favor of the greatest possible action. The Tomorrow War, as Chris McKay’s live-action directorial debut (The Lego Batman Movie) is one of the few titles that can do it.
December 2022, the world is shocked by the arrival of troops from the year 2051. They warn about an alien invasion called the Whitespikes, which in a short time has destroyed human civilization. Army reinforcements were sent to the future, but only 20% managed to survive, even though each assignment lasted only a week. As a result, about a year later, civilians began to be dispatched, begging the question, “Is it necessary to risk life for a war that is not ours?”. Best Movie Site
The news on television, the stories of those who survived, were all full of a sense of urgency. Tension. The feeling that the condition of the world is on the brink. Then it’s the turn of our protagonist, Dan Forester (Chris Pratt), a former military-turned-researcher, who is sent to the battlefield. He is forced to leave his wife, Emmy (Betty Gilpin), and his daughter, Muri (Ryan Kiera Armstrong).
Of course it was hard for Dan. In fact, he even tried to step aside, by enlisting the help of his father, James (J. K. Simmons in his most badass side), a Vietnam War veteran who has now turned into an anti-government extremist. But the estrangement of their relationship, cancel the intention. And finally set off, carrying the purest motivation that an action movie hero can have: family. And fight in the future and for the sake of the future. The future of his daughter. There is no tendency of heroism, which is used by Zach Dean’s script, to create emotional moments.
Arriving in the future, the Dan army had no time to relax. The mission awaits, as well as the Whitespikes who are ready to take their lives at any time. At that time, it was also clear that Chris Pratt was perfect for his role. Pratt looks convincing, not only as an action hero, but also a leader figure. Accompanying Dan are two supporting characters, Charlie (Sam Richardson) and Dorian (Edwin Hodge). Movie Review
Charlie is purely comic relief, and despite Richardson’s best efforts, the humor in the script is too dry to provoke laughter. On the other hand, Dorian is quite interesting. His character is unfriendly and intimidating. He had gone to war three times, while around his neck hung a necklace made of Whitespikes teeth. At first glance, Dorian is the same as the bloodthirsty character we usually meet in similar films. In fact he is different. Even in his own way, Dorian is willing to work as a team. His obsession with fighting hasn’t buried his humanity yet.
Back to the matter of his sense of urgency, McKay’s impression is expressed in his action sequences, which are presented in a massive, intense, chaos-packed manner, accompanied by blaring music by Lorne Balfe, which always reminds the audience of how dangerous each fight is. The forms also vary, from SAR (search and rescue) missions to hunting down aliens for capture. Each of them contains several variations of action, such as when McKay uses helicopter blades as powerful weapons other than rifles.
We can focus on the action without having to worry about the nitty gritty of time travel. Dean’s manuscript has succeeded in concocting this tricky element in a simple way, through explanations related to many phenomena (one of which, of course, is paradox), which is acceptable to ordinary people. The Tomorrow War has no ambition to do anything that is beyond its reach.
Dan’s journey into the future becomes more personal after meeting the adult Muri (Yvonne Strahovski), who serves as a colonel. Here the emotional weight of the film increases. There is a bit of a poetic impression in Muri’s experience, meeting a father figure from his childhood, when he was still worthy of being a role model, and full of love. We all must have missed the beautiful memories of the past. But no matter how hard we try, memories are impossible to repeat. Muri lived the impossibility. He felt again the beautiful memories that he wanted to repeat.
Unfortunately, the intensity decreased in the third half, after moving the time setting. The action is no longer a matter of desperate attempts to survive, but a mediocre shootout. When it turned into a fistfight, the choreography and camera arrangement were not qualified. Not dynamic enough. But after what was presented earlier, The Tomorrow War is still one of the most satisfying blockbusters of the year. If only the film had a chance to be shown on the big screen…. Top Movie