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The Tomorrow War (12, 140 minutes)
With COVID restrictions coming to an end (for a while at least) the release of films exclusively on streaming platforms could quickly become the modern day equivalent of straight to video/DVD (ask your parents, kids).
So a sizeable budget, CGI-laden star vehicle like this not getting a cinema release may seem a little strange, but The Tomorrow War was sold to Amazon Prime for $200 million when the pandemic messed release schedules up and if it means getting a decent sci-fi adventure without having to pay the equivalent of a mortgage for a bag of Maltesers and a Pepsi that’s 80 per cent ice, who’s complaining?
When a group of soldiers arrive from 28 years in the future asking for help in fighting an alien invasion which threatens to wipe out humanity, the only hope for survival is for soldiers and civilians from the present to be transported to the future and join the fight, so anyone known to be dead by 2050 faces being drafted for a week-long tour of duty very few survive.
High school teacher and, conveniently, former special forces operative Dan Forester (Chris Pratt) is recruited and zapped into the future to discover the leader of humanity’s battle for survival is non other than his daughter Muri (Handmaid’s Tale’s Yvonne Strahovski).
Father and daughter must try to come up with a chemical solution to kill the monsters before the week is up so that when Dan is automatically returned to the past he can take it with him and ensure the invasion never occurs.
Potential gaping holes in the storyline all fill in satisfactorily, much to my surprise, as the screenplay utilises characters which at first seem arbitrary (and in the case of Mary Lynn Rajskub and the criminally underused goddess Betty Gilpin, are) to play their part in the story’s resolution.
This is Pratt with a slightly more serious head on, or as serious as you can be when trying to kill creatures who are trying to eat you and fire thorns from their tails, and a supporting cast of familiar faces led by Oscar and Golden Globe winner J K Simmons gives some added spark to an entertaining piece of hokum.