The Tomorrow War
Before reading this please be aware of spoilers and the fact I genuinely like Chris Pratt.
Amazon's The Tomorrow War is a complete misfire in every direction it tries to turn. The latest action flick sees Chris Pratt join a future fight where he must save the planet by trying to fight off an alien invasion.
It starts off with a jumpy action sequence of Pratt falling from the sky and narrowly missing a pool before we see time jump 28 years in the past and we learn he is a biology teacher living with his wife and child. As they host a party the world learns of the Future War as the soldiers interrupt a soccer game to announce their arrival.
Soon after Dan finds himself drafted and off to War and this should be where the fun begins but it never does. Pratt does try his best but at times it feels like he over delivers his lines and his character feels too much like the action hero despite being presented as the every man's family man. J.K. Simmons is criminally underused as Dan's distant dad and government evader. He appears in 2 seasons essentially. One at the beginning and one at the end.
Director Chris McKay is working off a script from Zach Dean. That script doesn't work because it doesn't quite choose what it wants to be and ends falling in line as a mediocre action flick with some atrocious subplots and some even worse looking CGI action sequences. Factor in the needless quips back and forth and you have the recipe for every other action film ever made in the last 10 years. The future trope doesn't save this film nor does it really add anything at all except for a loose plot to give Pratt yet another ambitious starring vehicle. He has very little support around him in this one aside from Simmons who was very underutilized.
Everyone else is a throwaway character. Even the character they tried to throw a curveball with. Dan's daughter Muri. Spoiler alert his Colonel in the Future War is actually Muri and she tells him all about how he basically ended up becoming his father and abandoned the family. It added melodrama that would factor in emotionally during the final act because this could all be changed. It was boring, contrived and didn't add anything to the plot except to spawn the final action sequence. So we have this middle act where nothing memorable happens just so Dan and his War buddies can basically eradicate any hope of a sequel. So instead of making a good movie with world building potential they made a Mediocre movie on all levels just to have it end in the most meaningless way possible and for none of what happened to matter at all.
It's run of the mill in almost every way. Generic action with generic subplots with half assed pop culture references that failed. Also why does literally every Alien plot have to use the idea that they have been here for centuries? It's not original anymore and in this even less so because the alien arrival sequence 11 months from the beginning could have been a massive action sequence filled with genuine fear and tension. It used the backbone of the alien plot to scare us into being more concerned with Global Warming but by that point I think all ideas that were good had been lost and that one overly preachy aspect was not going to turn heads back in their favor.
The premise if you eliminate everything they did was a cool one to say the least but when the final action sequence is Chris Pratt going punch for punch with an enemy that shreds the human population down to 500K due to hunting us. I didn't expect Rocky 7 to be Chris Pratt vs the White Claw for the world heavyweight championship.
Pratt's character must also have super secret super speed because he always showed up right at the moment when everyone else needed him most. Using Skidoos and their own claws against them, Pratt is the single toughest man in the world it seems and can fight these beasts one v one while almost everyone else struggles to even kill one with a gun. That's not bad ass. It's lazy. It's boring. It's been done before. It was a rip on Predator and time travel all in one movie and it all just missed. It would have been a better movie if Chris Pratt missed the pool during the opening sequence over and over again for 2 hrs and 18 mins.