The future of the earth relies on people like me….bad luck earth it was a good run while it lasted.

The Tomorrow War

Directed by: Chris McKay

Written by: Zach Dean

Featuring: Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, JK Simmons, Betty Gilpin, Sam Richardson, Jasmine Mathews, Edwin Hodge, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Keith Powers

Time travellers turn up in the middle of a World Cup match and inform the shocked world they are there to recruit people from our time to fight in a future war that we are losing to apparent alien entities the white spikes (I did not like their last album). Dan Forester a schoolteacher is picked in the ‘world’ draft and goes to fight in the future not realising that has a bigger part to play in the future of humanity than he understands.

First things first, The Tomorrow War is apparently worth $200,000, emphatically it is not. Also, it is over two hours long, it should not be. Let us be honest, this is pure popcorn, bubble-gum brain mayhem. There is no real sense to what unfolds, no real character development, no actual peril, well you do not think the ‘white spikes’ win and wipe out the human race do you?

The film feels like perhaps three films stitched together. The opening moments, whilst silly and featuring the most unrealistic football match I have ever seen from the supposed Qatar World Cup was interesting and a decent set-up. Chris Pratt is strongest at being a fairly harmless everyman, for this story he has to be ex-Special Forces in the US military, but in general is a likeable, easy-going sort of chap who is now a teacher. Incidentally, I have calculated the Special Forces in the US is a part of the US army that has roughly half a million troops in it at any one time. I mean ever seen a film where a military man was not in the Special Forces and a highly trained killing machine? Ever. None the less the setup to what is going to unfold is fun and kept my interest. Without spoiling the story for anyone the troops from the future are as usual rather well-fed, nicely coiffured lot that unfortunately put me in mind of actors in their first big break really acting ‘tough’ and ‘mean’ but all part of the pageant, I guess.

Next, we get a lot of time-wimey skull-buggery which all time-travel films tie themselves in knots about and if you are taking any of it seriously this utter wibble-wobble daftness is going to yank you out of the revere with the force of bungee on tensile strength of ‘eleven’ as soon as it begins.

Old farts like me have to go into the future and fight the aliens and this is also a fun part of the film as they are recruited and fight, we are treated to some good action and some great CGI and some ropey, but it whips along with death and mayhem that mainly happens to the ‘right’ people. When I say ‘like me’ I actually mean Americans, of the surviving 500, 000 people (and that really is not very many at all) appear to be exclusively from the USA. Here is where I felt the film started to get the themes and ideas mixed. We were already going doing the family dynamics, Stephen Spielberg broken family, route but also, we seem to be heading into superpatriotism as well. Replace the monsters with ‘commies’ and you have Red Dawn on steroids, everyone is heroic and only one person can save the day. The dialogue in cringeworthy and this suits these themes. For actors, I guess it is a paycheque.

Herein lies the rub for me. It is fun, daft, and full of logic-defying action and themes, which is okay. There is a worse crime being played out here, it is formulaic and a huge mishmash of ideas, themes and set pieces that have been seen over and over again and for the money spent and hype blown up are collective posteriors it is disappointing and bland.

The acting is fun, and all the actors are having fun, no one coasts but no one is going to pull a muscle either. The action is frenetic and explody with suitable horrible monsters, that go from virtually indestructible to fairly easy to kill in the space of scene and the effects and visuals overall match the content but from time to time you can see when the money started to run out.

The final act of the film is dumb it made my headache.

I watched this once, I have almost forgotten about it and I will not seek it out to watch again and in the future, if I channel surfed and bumped into it, I would not stick on it and finish it, mind you in the future I might be dead or running away from incredibly angry monster things. Who knows?

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