The summer season at the movies, in terms of blockbusters, has been a little on the light side. But this weekend brings us another just in time for the holiday. Ironically, it’s making a debut on the small screen with the Amazon Original “The Tomorrow War”. Chris Pratt leads as the hero, an every-man who is drafted into a war in the future to fight for the fate of humanity. The enemy is hordes of awesomely gnarly creatures, and the result is a checklist of ingredients needed for a climactic cinematic adventure.
Overall, I had a good time with this movie and felt it did provide the mental escape you want in a movie such as this. The science-fiction and time-traveling elements are nicely woven into the narrative and Pratt is able to carry the load effectively. I really enjoyed the concept-design and look of the creatures and with a buffet of backdrops the devastation and the ‘epic moments’ are plentiful as bullets are flying and all hell is breaking loose. This is a loud robust action-adventure and that is when this movie is at its best. The set-pieces range from massive-scale sequences to more confined moments, and all the violence is delightful and more than enough to have you on edge and immersed.
However, for me the quiet moments were too drawn out. I know this is where the story is developed, and the tension is able to be eased just before ramping it up again. That is the joy of these rollercoaster adventures. They are supposed to take you on a ride and this movie certainly does. But these sections were much longer than needed. They were overly wordy despite going through the usual family and save-the-world tropes, and these scenes routinely brought the energy down. So, with a run-time hovering in at around two and a half hours, these major highs and lows in the energy made the movie fatiguing. Twenty-minutes could have been trimmed and it still would have delivered all the needed emotional layering, had the writing been more to-the-point.
This doesn’t make “The Tomorrow War” a bad film by any means. But for the story it tells it does take the scenic route. Something that I think will be hit-and-miss depending on how you like your films paced, and the level of blatant melodrama you can tolerate. For myself, I had a great time with it. The action sequences were wild and over-the-top, and I will admit that despite the seemingly endless run-time, there is a constant variety in the styling and backdrops of the chaos and all the fighting for survival. Which does result in a sea of appealing visuals.
The characters weren’t overly unique; however, I did enjoy the performances. Pratt brings this one his usual common-man persona, but it worked for the needs of his character. And the supporting cast was solid as well with Edwin Hodge, J.K. Simmons, Sam Richardson, and Yvonne Strahovski, all bringing life and charisma to their roles to round out the collection of players. So, this is certainly worth checking out if you’re curious about it. If you like these big large-scale adventure flicks with destruction and violence and cheesy melodrama you will find all of that here. And despite its flaws, “The Tomorrow War” is the fun this movie summer has needed.
Anthony J Digioia II - SilverScreen Analysis © All Rights Reserved.