‘The Tomorrow War’ has action but little else

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“The Tomorrow War” is the sort of film that will help you understand whether or not you care about plot holes. Because this film is lousy with them. No wonder it went straight to streaming.

Available now on Amazon Prime, “The Tomorrow War” is a clear attempt to give actor Chris Pratt a new blockbuster action franchise. It’s got lots of guns, explosions, deadly aliens and a neat time travel set-up. And then it wastes all of that with a story so riddled with holes that I’m shocked it got made.

Are there not people in Hollywood who read scripts and then make notes for improvements?

Pratt plays ordinary dad Dan Forester, whose life is turned upside down when soldiers from the future arrive in the present day and reveal that the Earth will be overrun by a monstrous alien species by the year 2050. The future soldiers have come back to recruit people from the present to time travel to 2050 so they can join the war. Pratt gets drafted and off he goes.

Upon reading that synopsis, if you immediately asked yourself, “Why don’t the future soldiers instead stay in the past and prepare people for when the aliens first arrive,” then congratulations, you have given this script more thought than apparently anyone who made this movie.

And that’s not the only glaring plot hole. Time after time, again and again, “The Tomorrow War” finds new ways to shoot itself in the foot. I could fill this entire review with a rant about how poorly written this movie is, but that would give away most of the story.

“The Tomorrow War” is probably pretty good as a straight action movie. The aliens look terrifying, and there’s plenty of running, shooting and blowing stuff up to enjoy. But you’re going to have to be really desperate for some gunfire in a movie to sit through the rest of “The Tomorrow War.”

Pratt isn’t even allowed to be charming. Known for his wit and smile, Pratt plays his role completely straight, to the point of being pretty boring for a lead character. A bunch of notable character actors, like Sam Richardson and J.K. Simmons, are brought on for supporting roles, but the movie has no problem shuffling them offscreen for large portions of the film.

It feels like every decision made in making “The Tomorrow War” was the wrong decision. Who read this script and approved it as is? Who decided to tack on a completely ridiculous third act that undercuts everything else in the film? Who refused to allow Chris Pratt to crack a joke?

If you’re already subscribed to Amazon Prime, then “The Tomorrow War” is a free-to-watch action film starring a likeable lead actor. I still can’t recommend it.

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