Chris McKay’s The Tomorrow War does what you hope any decent sci-fi film should do: it reflects the world and time around us. That being its biggest strength, the film also does an excellent job of weaving together a heartfelt story with a top-notch effects spectacle. In addition to the entertainment value, the film effectively creates a believable and not so far-fetched plot-line that weaves in modern-day issues.
The Tomorrow War features awe-inspiring visual effects shots. For one, the alien creatures (white spikes) that crowd the screen in the thousands somehow appear lifelike and “natural.” The final sequence is one of the most impressive in the entire film. Computer-generated aliens never looked so good alongside human actors. It all helps to heighten the sense of danger and menace with the white spikes. The slow reveal and introduction to the creatures establish the dread, and it’s easy to see why humans are soo close to the brink of extinction in the film.
Heart at the Center
One of the most relatable elements in the film is the relationship between Dan Forester (Chris Pratt) and Muri Forester (Yvonne Strahovski/Ryan Kiera Armstrong). The bond they have drives the main story, which also happens to serve the rest of humanity in the process. Yvonne Strahovski, in particular, helps sell the emotional weight of the scenes between the two characters. The dynamic between them gives the film its heart and brings purpose to the sci-fi spectacle.
Sign of the Times
One of the major strengths of The Tomorrow War is its reflection of the times. The best sci-fi films act as a mirror of the world around us and often attempt to give hope or warning. The latter is true for The Tomorrow War. We get an idea of the damage humans have sustained 20-30 years into the future due to a failing climate. While it may not be the most original element of the film, its use as a plot driver works well. If you feel a bit unsettled while watching the film, it’s probably because the story hits closer to home than you realized.