Saturday, July 03, 2021

Time Slows to a Crawl in Chris Pratt’s Tedious Time Travel Trudge

The Tomorrow War  (Amazon Prime) is a wearisome trudge across some seriously unappealing sludge, that makes you want to examine your own lack of judgement when it comes to making decent viewing choices. Director Chris McKay has laboriously put together a film about time travel, vicious, ungainly looking killer aliens who aspire towards nothing more elevating than devouring humans for food and breeding which thoughtless approach on their part puts the future of the human race in jeopardy. This sort of thing has the potential to be entertaining but McKay does not bring anything that is remotely original, fun, or quirky to the table. The film gives the impression of material that has been regurgitated after multiple trips up and down Hollywood’s alimentary canal.

Chris Pratt’s Dan Forester is ex – military, who is presently working as a high school teacher and like every character in every movie or show nowadays, he is extremely angst – ridden with his lot in life and all set to endanger his happy family life comprising a sweet wife and adorable daughter by hurtling down a dark path he has always sought to avoid thanks to a father (JK Simmons) who left him with abandonment issues, when troops show up from the future with dire tidings. They are fighting an unequal war with the aliens and their ranks are so depleted that they have no choice but to enlist troops from the past.

Forester is drafted and finds himself plunged into violent conflict 30 years in the future with a motley crew of fellow soldiers, none of whom are remotely memorable. But the most arresting of the lot is the commanding female officer played by Yvonne Strahovski (Of Chuck and The Handmaid’s Tale fame) and thanks to the nature of the relationship they share, there is a lot of maudlin emotional fare to wade through. Strahovski acquits herself decently but Pratt is ill – suited for this kind of thing which does not allow him room for his customary swagger and roguish charm that was more gainfully employed in The Guardians of the Galaxy and The Jurassic World franchises. Here his lugubrious expressions are meme – worthy but little else. As for the brilliant JK Simmons he is given precious little to do, though he excels in every frame he is in and of all this movie’s many offenses, this lapse has to be the worst.

The Tomorrow War trundles along to a ho – hum climax and there is lot of gruesome, alien gore for those who enjoyed films like the Alien with squishy stuff, gross bodily fluids, and lots of ear – drum shattering shrieking but for the rest of us all that is left, is regret over wasted time, that could have been better spent scrolling for something better to watch.

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