I was damn well convinced this was a David S. Goyer film. It had all the trappings of one without actually being one. If that makes any sense.
He’s hard to explain, David S. Goyer. He’s mostly written and produced films, but has directed some. I think you might be more familiar with his Blade films.
I don’t know why I’m going so deep into David S. Goyer when he didn’t write or direct this. He did however produce it. Yeah, I kind of felt good about myself for predicting that when it was time for the end credits to start rolling.
Like, yup! Knew it!
So if David S. Goyer didn’t direct this, who did?
That would be Chris McKay. He hasn’t really done much other than some animated stop-motion work. He’s done a lot of Adult Swim content and The Lego Batman movie. That’s about it when it comes to directing features.
I’ll just tell you right off that I loved this movie. It hit almost every sweet spot with me until the end, but we’ll get to that later.
The best way to describe this film is well… it’s actually a combo of a few different movies such as that little seen but much loved Tom Cruise film Edge of Tomorrow. Another film I loved by the way.
It also has some Starship Troopers mixed in there, one of my favorite films. And some Aliens. Fuck it, why not just toss some Quiet Place in there for good measure.
It also feels like not only did we get the first film in a trilogy but also the sequels as well. Sure, they could have stretched this thing out like The Quiet Place, taking a thin plotline and trying to get three movies out of it, but Tomorrow War said nah, we’ll just give you the whole shabang with one go, so hold your butts for one hell of a ride!
I’ve always liked Christ Pratt and when I say always I mean going as far back to his days on Everwood.
So I’ve been a fan for many years. No one was more excited to see him blow up as I was.
The fact he’s married to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s daughter is also kind of hilarious to me for some reason.
I’m less thrilled about the Jurassic Park films, less to do about him and really everything else about those movies themselves. But he is perfect as Star Lord in the Guardians of the Galaxy films.
I also think he’s good in Tomorrow War, not great but good. They do know how to play to his strengths like his comedic timing and his charm, but you start to lose me when he becomes an unstoppable killing machine. He’s a goof that bumbles through things. That’s kind of his main trait. His shtick.
The plot to Tomorrow War I found really intriguing. Maybe kind of dumb, but interesting.
Basically, people from about 30 years in the future are in an unwinnable war with an alien race that has infested Earth, killing everything that moves indiscriminately.
So the people of the future use a scrapped together time machine to go back in the past to help recruit soldiers to fight this pretty much unwinnable war.
I found it interesting, what can I say!
I’m a sucker for time travel and Chris Pratt, not to mention Starship Troopers. This movie was tailed made for me.
Chris Pratt plays Dan Forester, an ex soldier now turned highschool science teacher. He’s feeling down about himself as he just lost out on getting this job at some top research center.
The self pity soon ends because immediately we are introduced to our time travelers begging the past for help.
Dan has a wife and daughter, the wife isn’t really all that important to the story, she might as well not exist, but the daughter is pretty important as you’ll learn later.
The theme of this movie is family. Dan and his father, played by JK Simmons, are estranged from one another, as he abandoned Dan and his mother when he was young.
His character James really wishes to have a relationship with his granddaughter Muri. A name I don’t think I’ve ever heard before.
Since the mortality rate is so high for anyone willing to go to the future to fight this invasion, a worldwide draft has been started.
Enter Dan, who turns out to be the perfect candidate. Not because of his military expertise, but because he dies in 7 years.
That is the criteria for any candidate. They can’t have a future.
So they strap on this arm band and give you 24 hours to say your goodbyes. After that you get basic training. And by basic, I mean basic like in how to hold your gun upright and that’s about it.
Dan meets fellow scientist Charlie who comments just how slapdash this whole thing is. They don’t even have uniforms, just whatever they walked off the street in. Even one guy who was still wearing a chef’s hat.
Before Dan and Charlie even have time to get to know each other, they are tossed into the future. And I mean literally tossed, as the time machine they use shoots everyone about 30 feet into the sky, over a city where the only safe landing is a rooftop swimming pool.
So about 80% of the new recruits die immediately. No, I doubt the dude wearing the chef’s hat made it sadly.
Charlie and Dan did, along with a few others we quickly get to know like the team of returning badasses that have done this before and lived to tell the tale.
The veterans, Dan and Charlie and a few of the other remaining survivors are tasked immediately on a rescue mission to save a group of scientists and their research on the aliens they call “whitespikes”. Called this because they are bone white and shoot spikes from their many viper-like tails.
This research team has been collecting data on a toxin that will kill the whitespikes, so it’s vital Dan and his team get there before the whole city is leveled by jets carpet bombing the place.
Of course when they get there all the scientists are already dead. These whitespikes have almost impenetrable skin, only vulnerable under their chins and bellies.
Barking orders at Dan is someone leading this whole operation, played by Yvonne Strahovski from Handmaid’s Tale. And Chuck, but I doubt anyone remembers that show.
Dan and his team gather as much research as they can, but get ambushed by whitespikes that have made a nest of the research building they’re in.
Dan, Charlie and the leader of the veterans Dorian who much like Dan will be dead in a few years due to cancer. He figures if he’s going out, it might as well be killing these alien monsters.
I really like the alien’s design. They do kind of remind me of the aliens from The Quiet Place, but if they had these nasty looking tails that would shoot spikes at you like a gun.
After that disaster of a first mission, Dan meets the one who was barking orders at him, his now grown daughter.
So I pretty much called this immediately, even in the trailers I kind of figured that’s who she was going to end up being. Told you, the theme for this movie is family.
She’s actually kind of pissed at future him because in a few years he leaves his family, divorcing her mother and dying in a car crash. They kind of imply either drunk driving or suicide. I’ll leave that up to you guys to decide.
Part I didn’t really care for was splitting up Dan and his pal Charlie.
Charlie has to go straight out for a new mission with Dorian and we never see them again until later in the film.
I wanted them to stick together, damn it!
But maybe they figure it would be hard to do while also trying to build this bond between Dan and his future grown up daughter.
Grown up Muri has a new mission for him anyway, as they need to capture a queen whitespike. The toxin they developed kills the males, but has no effect on the females, who reproduce rapidly.
They have one cornered but getting it inside the cage is damn near impossible, since they are not only larger but can call on other male whitespikes to help defend it.
So they have to work quick.
When they do capture it, I think getting everyone killed in the process, Dan is taken to the main headquarters where the time travel device is and their main research facility.
It’s basically this massive tanker on the ocean, surrounded by walls. Unlike the aliens in Quiet Place, these things can swim.
Muri finally comes up with a toxin that will kill the queen, but it calls out to the other whitespikes to rescue her.
Now the facility is overrun by these creatures.
Dan only has to wait a few minutes before he is recalled back to the past, but he knows that once he does, future Muri is all but done for.
But before she dies and before he leaves, she hands him the toxin so maybe the past can stop it before the invasion starts.
So here is kind of where things hit a snag when it comes to the plot department.
They hang a lot on this toxin, setting up the most of the first and all of the second act on it. However, as you’ll see, it ultimately means nothing to the plot.
So Dan makes it back to his present, the whitespikes have destroyed the relay station that brings others into the future, now dooming a whole generation.
Dan has this toxin that can kill the whitespikes, but in his time it’s useless since the aliens haven’t arrived yet. Or so they think.
Apparently these seemingly mindless creatures that only think of feeding and have no arms built a spaceship, and flew it to Earth.
Right away that didn’t pass the smell test. I was actually hoping for a bigger twist than what we got, being the whitespikes are just this bio weapon used by another alien race.
Anyway, their ship landed in the arctic, where in about 30 years the ice melts, releasing them all.
Dan, Charlie, Dorian and Dan’s estranged father head out to find this crashed ship where they plan on injecting the aliens with the toxin that will kill them.
They do kill a few, but it’s then revealed the ship has hundreds of thousands of whitespikes onboard, so essentially making the whole toxin thing pointless when in the end they do what they should have done in the first place and just blow the fucking ship up.
The second act should have ended with all hope being put on this toxin, but in the last minute not only does Dan lose his daughter but also the toxin.
That would have really brought home our character in his most defeated moment, bring us into the third act of him struggling to overcome it.
They do find ways to kind of use the toxin when Dan and his father band together to take out the last queen. But it really isn’t essential, they could have done anything at this point.
Again, this whole toxin thing wouldn’t be an issue if not for the fact the whole plot is setup around it. I guess it’s a MacGuffin by every definition of the word but still. Have some pay off!
Even though I had a huge issue with that last act, I still really loved this movie. Is it as good as Starship Troopers? Fuck no! But it’s just as fun I thought.
Next to Kong vs Godzilla, it’s kind of the most fun I had while watching a movie this year. I highly recommend checking out Tomorrow War on Amazon. Unlike Netflix’s original films, this actually feels like something you’d watch in the theater.
So check it out!
I give Tomorrow War a SEE IT!
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