Movie review: The Tomorrow War
There must have been some relief among The Tomorrow War's producers when they sold this US$200 million (S$270 million) sci-fi film to Amazon Prime Video.
Relief and a shout of "No backsies!"
Even without a pandemic, had they gone ahead with the planned theatrical release, this could have been one of the year's biggest turkeys.
On paper, Chris Pratt plus alien invasion plus the director of the excellent The Lego Batman Movie makes for a knockout combo. In reality, it is a sleeper hold.
It is not great when the reaction at realising there is still 40-plus minutes to go is a heavy sigh.
It even stumbles from the off by making Pratt a Special Forces veteran-turned-small town-science teacher - that is Steven Seagal territory.
The Tomorrow War struggles to get going and does not make sense, especially the strategy of sending ordinary humans to fight rampaging aliens. Well, it makes sense if the plan is to hope that the aliens tire themselves out from killing people.
And in 30 years, we have invented time travel but guns are still bullet-based?
The invulnerability of the aliens is variable, depending on who's shooting them or if it looks cool.
Then there is the most clumsily shoehorned in case of Chekhov's volcano committed to film.
Some may argue that the Fast And Furious movies make little sense too – why not pull apart those films' disregard for logic?
The simple answer is fun. They have earned their suspension of disbelief.
The Tomorrow War spends most of its time lurching from one familiar scenario to the other as though we would not notice the similarities to Aliens, Edge Of Tomorrow, Starship Troopers and many more.
It does not help that Pratt's affable nature has to be put aside when Sam Richardson arrives to deliver the comic relief moments you would expect Pratt to excel at.
Pratt remains likeable, but he is out of his element here. The man is born to goof, not scowl.
The effects are pretty good and the aliens are well-rendered, even if the designs and movement feel familiar.
J.K. Simmons is always good value and Yvonne Strahovski does what she can as the future soldier with a secret.
But in the end, The Tomorrow War turns the end of the world into a damp squib.
Score : 2/5
FILM: The Tomorrow War
STARRING: Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, J.K. Simmons, Sam Richardson, Betty Gilpin
DIRECTOR: Chris McKay
THE SKINNY: At the 2022 World Cup final, soldiers from the future appear with a warning that 28 years later, humanity is on the brink of being wiped out by an alien force, and ordinary people are drafted into the war. One of them is Dan Forester (Pratt), who finds the fate of the future hinges on aspects of his past.
SHOWING ON: Amazon Prime Video