The Tomorrow War

The Tomorrow War ★½

I remember Chris Pratt doing some last-minute hype for this a few days before it dropped, and he unironically labelled it "your new favourite film". Of course, I understand that every film has to be advertised with an element of hyperbole, but that particular phrase stapled onto this particular film amused me to no end, because ultimately, if this actually is anyone's favourite film, it has to be someone who has fallen through a dimensional crack where no sci-fi movie has ever been made before. The derivativeness of every second here is quite stunning, going beyond its greyer-than-grey production design and systematically ripping off everything it can. Terminator is a good frame of reference here, yet Cameron's inconsistent franchise at least entertains some degree of complexity when it comes to time travel. And what is in The Tomorrow War? Some vague allusions to time as a flowing river, and that's about it. Determinism? Never heard of it, mate. Parallel timelines? What are those? It's a film that's fundamentally disinterested in its own concept, and actively sidesteps any fascinating ideas it could discuss. What about the fact that people aren't fully-trained going the future? Are people not surprised when they don't hear anything about what on earth they're fighting, or how to kill them? People know, they just choose to not tell them because they'd be scared. This is exactly the sort of thing that Starship Troopers would deal with in a pithy bit of absurd worldbuilding, and the film would be stronger for it. Here, it's simply an example of the slapdash storytelling the film is aiming for, and to what end, it's difficult to say. You'd normally have this sort of inconsistency thrown in in service of something else cool, but there's literally nothing here to get excited about. The third act diversion it goes on oddly leaves this ripping of The Thing, and I'm not talking about the 1982 classic, I'm on about its 2011 reboot/remake/prequel. That's how brutal it gets.

One single solitary plus point for giving us the circular saw moment that Army of the Dead promised but didn't give.