In the inevitable lull of summer TV programming, I did what any bored university student with no homework and way too much time on their hands would do: I went content surfing. This is where I came across The Tomorrow War and ended up on a 138-minute sci-fi action adventure with a little bit of comedy and a unique ending.
Set in 2022, the film starts, like so many before it, in suburbia with a regular American family. Chris Pratt plays Dan Forester, a father, veteran, and high school biology teacher trying desperately to get a different job. Forester’s daughter, a very intelligent but anxious little girl, and his wife are clearly the centre of his world.
During a world soccer championship, a portal opens up in the middle of the field where a group of military members from 2051 arrive to warn the people of 2022 of impending doom. This is possibly the least believable part, as the idea of Americans watching soccer in such high numbers is about as likely as Europeans tuning in to the NFL.
The story truly begins here, where we find out that aliens, aptly named Whitespikes for their appearance and ability to release spikes to kill their enemy, have effectively brought humanity to the brink of extinction in 2051. At this point, soldiers from 2022 start to make their way through a wormhole called a Jumplink for week-long deployments in 2051, to save humanity. However, less than 30 per cent of people survive their deployment; therefore, a draft is instated.
With civilians heading off to fight a war in the future, Forester gets drafted and finds out that only people who are already dead in 2051 can travel into the Jumplink as not to affect the timeline. With this knowledge, he says goodbye to a very anxious child and wife and heads out for his seven-day tour of duty, hoping he will return but aware that even if he does survive, he will not make it to 2051. During the crash course in basic training given to the civilians being sent to the future, Forester meets a scientist named Charlie, who becomes the bit of comic relief needed
in the movie.
The duo is soon sent out with a band of other civilian misfits who have no idea what they are doing and relatively no experience. Once in the future, the group quickly realizes how this war is so much worse than they could have ever imagined.
Shortly after their first mission, Forester is asked to report to the Colonel, a surprising character, and learns information that strengthens his resolve to make it through the week-long deployment and return home. The Colonel and Forester work tirelessly, with the limited information they have, to find a way to kill the Whitespikes before it is too late. Just as they find a solution an epic action scene ensues as the Whitespikes attack what is left of humanity in 2051. This leaves Forester and a few recruits to get pulled back into the Jumplink to stop the Whitespikes before they ever attack in the first place.
Back in 2022, Forester, his wife and a few others, including Charlie, work to discover where the Whitespikes came from. This is where things get really interesting. Along with another great action sequence and the origin story of the aliens comes an ending that is thought-provoking and different. Although the story is fictional and too far removed from reality to be real, there are real-world implications that come to surface in the story’s end.
The film’s writer Zach Dean does a great job of keeping viewers on their toes and steering clear of the usual storyline. Although the film was a lot of fun, it does not reach the level of other great sci-fi action films with more notoriety and has created some split reviews from viewers. Nonetheless, with new TV series seasons weeks away, I highly recommend the Prime Video film.