Certificate – 12
Directed By – Chris McKay
Starring – Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, J.K. Simmons, Betty Gilpin, Sam Richardson, Jasmine Mathews, Edwin Hodge, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Keith Powers.
Running Time – 138 Minutes (2 Hours 18 Minutes)
Four years is a fucking long time to wait for the next Chris McKay film following the massive success and love for The LEGO Batman Movie. However, it was worth the wait because The Tomorrow War is AN INCREDIBLE NINETIES ACTION MOVIE & my favourite film of 2021.
After seeing the first trailer, I wasn’t sure what we would get but possibly a typical Chris Pratt performance that made him a highly sought-after star. I was so glad to be wrong because thanks to the two Chris’ this movie is so much more.
Set in 2022, the world is stunned when a group of time travellers arrive from the year 2051 to deliver an urgent message: Thirty years in the future, mankind is losing a global war against a deadly alien species. The only hope for survival is for soldiers and civilians from the present to be transported to the future and join the fight.
Among these recruited is a high school teacher and family man Dan Forester (Pratt). Determined to save the world for his young daughter, Dan teams up with a brilliant scientist (Strahovski) and his estranged father (Simmons) in a desperate quest to rewrite the planet’s fate.
As I stated above, it is a 90s movie that would’ve felt home alongside Independence Day and Total Recall. What helps is the injection of heart and humour that’s well placed across the board, but primarily the perfect delivered by Richardson.
Richardson’s Charlie nearly steals the film reacting to the situation he’s put in with two moments standing out. The first was running down the staircase being chased by the aliens repeatedly saying shit, which made me laugh out loud. The next is more of his character arc as he becomes a hero.
The film is incredibly self-aware by knowingly winking to the audience at some moments.
The action is top draw as well, and this is where Strahovski shines as she has the three most important action scenes. First as a communicator and the next two showing how completely fucking awesome she is taking control of the situation.
However, away from the humour and explosions, McKay’s genuine human element throughout is done beautifully and becoming his calling card. So yeah, you will have a great time during a McKay film, but you’ll connect to the characters.
This element makes it my favourite Pratt performance playing a completely different action hero seeing how he deals with his dad and relationship with people to the point there are some moments when he’s with Strahovski where I cried.
I hope that the Guardians and Jurassic World star do more of this in the future. I believe we will as he’s currently filming The Terminal List for Amazon based on the bestselling Jack Carr novel.
Additionally, you have Richardson and Hodge, who plays Dorian, a veteran of the future war entering his third tour and has nothing to live for in the present day.
I loved the pacing as it never feels like it’s over two hours and how the story takes us on this journey that you think is going to end in certain moments, but it twists and turns to an enjoyable end.
Moreover, you have the draft aspect that plays the history with those in the UK who can pull from Second World War and young boys signing to join the war effort. Or in America, where the government started the draft lottery during the Vietnam War without people having a choice.
The massive shame is this film isn’t being seen on the biggest cinema screens because Larry Fong’s cinematography work deserves to be seen that way. The design of the aliens is scary and brilliantly brutal. Lorne Balfe’s score helps bring the epicness.
With plenty of humour, action and heart, the best film so far of 2021, my favourite movie of this year, an incredible 90s action movie and my favourite Chris Pratt performance.