Chris Pratt may not currently be the most popular Chris associated with the MCU, but that aside, The Tomorrow War isn’t going to be much help in the effort to establish himself as a leading man of a franchise not named Guardians of the Galaxy. The Tomorrow War is a generic sci-fi movie that fumbles the ball with a somewhat interesting idea. Like any other sci-fi movie, a cool idea can easily be wasted away with execution that is either bad, or in the case of The Tomorrow War, bland. Even the title feels like it has been used before. Edge of Tomorrow (2014) comes to mind, though that movie didn’t waste its cool premise.
This is the second major military sci-fi movie this year. Along with Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead, both share the fact that they are too long and resort to genre clichés. Plot points of The Tomorrow War have surely been found before, and the exposition can be eye-rolling, as seen in its global warming allegory.
The action sequence about 45 minutes in feels derivative. Even despite Josh Richardson’s best attempt to salvage it (as can be said for most of the movie), it feels like a co-op mission from Destiny 2 more than this high-stakes heist. The stakes felt low, and that could potentially be traced back to the CGI. Doing CGI work is no joke, but it doesn’t stand out in The Tomorrow War. It’s not horrendous (with an exception or two), but it also isn’t terribly convincing. There are a few backdrops with flames, and they look like they were copy and pasted directly from an MCU or DCEU movie. When the team travels to the Russian Arctic, the color palate is too dark. The Empire Strikes Back, which was released in 1980, created a similar planet in the early scenes on Hoth. Despite being 40 years older, those sets felt way more realistic and engaging than those found in The Tomorrow War. The “Whitespikes” alien creatures also look like those creatures that infested Wakanda in Infinity War, especially whenever multiple appear on screen.
Of all the cast members, Sam Richardson deserves the most praise. His comedic moments are needed, and almost all of his jokes land.
The Tomorrow War’s aspirations to be the next Independence Day fall quite short of the mark. Chris Pratt is fine, but there is yet to be a blockbuster movie outside of the MCU where he feels like a true leading man. Maybe he was miscast, but the same could be said for Passengers, Jurassic World, and Onward.
If you’re going to watch The Tomorrow War, it certainly won’t be for its story. The story beats are so generic without any unique twists. You can probably guess how every storyline will end and be proven right. Even if you enjoy sci-fi, The Tomorrow War is just the amalgamation of so many other sci-fi-action movies that can range from a great sci-fi movie like Alien, or a movie you dig up in the bin at your local Dollar Tree.
The Tomorrow War is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.