The Tomorrow War was supposed to be a Christmas theater release but COVID-19 claimed another victim so Paramount released it on the Amazon Prime video streaming channel. In light of the recent UFO sightings report released by the Pentagon, Prime and Paramount released the film on July 2 while the iron was hot. 

Yes, UFOs Are Real and the Aliens Are Hungry

And it is a shame that The Tomorrow War didn’t make it onto the big screens, because the movie’s action scenes warranted it. It is a big-budget action/sci-fi film that tips its hat to Michael Bay. Is it a bit schlocky? Yes. Are there holes in the plotline? Yes, again. But sit back and enjoy the ride. 

The film stars Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, the outstanding J.K. Simmons, Betty Gilpin, Sam Richardson, and Jasmine Matthews. It’s directed by Chris McKay.

“The Tomorrow War” Review, a Great Summer Action Escapist Film
Jasmine Mathews as Lt. Hart, a future soldier who warns the world during the World Cup. (Amazon Prime)

Let’s talk about the story of The Tomorrow War. James Daniel “Dan” Forester (Pratt) is a former Green Beret, who served two tours in Iraq, got out, and is now a high school science teacher who dotes on his 9-year old daughter Muri (Ryan Kiera Armstrong).

At a Christmas party, he and his family are watching the World Cup on television when a time portal opens and soldiers from 2051 appear in the middle of the soccer field. They tell the crowd that 30 years in the future, earth has been invaded by millions of alien creatures called Whitespikes. Humanity fights for its survival — but it’s about to lose. So, they came back in time to look for draftees (cannon fodder/alien food). 

Once in the future, due to a misdrop, most draftees are killed immediately when instead of landing on a high rise in Miami Beach, they’re dropped several stories up and fall to their deaths. 

The commander of the forces in the area, Colonel Forester (Strahovski), orders the draftees to secure the members of a lab who are working on a poison that will kill the aliens. But Forester, it turns out, is Dan’s daughter Muri, 30 years in the future. 

What follows is non-stop action, as thousands of aliens confront the humans from the past.

It’s All About the Action, Stupid

McKay tips his hat to, or slightly rips off, depending on your perspective, many successful sci-fi films. You’ll see parts that will remind you of Alien, Alien vs Predator, and of course Independence Day.

“The Tomorrow War” Review, a Great Summer Action Escapist Film
Chris Pratt meets his daughter Yvonne Strahovski 30 years in the future. (Amazon Prime)

The script is a bit of a messy affair. There are several obvious plotholes, and the characters other than Forester were left a bit short. However, the interaction between Pratt and Strahovski is excellent.

J.K. Simmons is one of my favorite actors and I was hoping for more of him. He plays Forester’s father, a Vietnam vet who suffers from PTSD.

Importantly, for this type of movie, the aliens are freaky as hell and will definitely get your attention. 

A word to the wise: when you pop on The Tomorrow War play it on the biggest screen available. The producers (including Pratt himself) spent $200 million on this film, and most of it is in the action. 

So, ignore some of the cliches and messy writing, microwave some of Orville Redenbacher’s best, and sit and enjoy a satisfying action/sci-fi film. It isn’t great and you’ll probably figure out the ending long before it is over, but the stars make it a helluva ride. And it is worth the time.