Director Chris McKay’s (LEGO Batman: The Movie, 2017) first exploration outside of animated cinema is compelling, with the help of Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy). Tomorrow’s War (The Tomorrow War, July 2, 2021 on Amazon Prime Video), his first foray into action cinema, results in a good balance between projectiles fired, research and scientific tests to try to save the planet in the future , located thirty years from the present.
In that quest, Chris Pratt plays Dan Forester, a retired military man who, like a war movie classic, is not beyond the line of fire. Mckay and his screenwriter, Zach Dean (24 hours to live, 2017) do not discover anything new on this topic, but they represent it through the resource of time travel in a refined way.
Tomorrow’s War follows the pace of productions such as Edge of Tomorrow (Doug Liman, 2014) without abusing the resource of time loops. Chris McKay’s film is much more stable when it comes to time jumps, which adds to the experience: the viewer can be stunned by the explosions and detonations. But not because of the time jumps in the movie.
‘Tomorrow’s war’: a nod to ‘Fortnite’
Almost at the same time that Mckay developed his film about Batman, in 2017, the video game universe was shaken with the appearance of Fornite (2017) during that year. The game was a revolution that integrated players from all over the world, including celebrities from any area of culture, within the same platform. Tomorrow’s war draws on that resource to build a bridge between temporary spaces.
He does it with no minor nuance: outside of consoles and computers, video games may not be so fun. Within them the game is restarted while in Tomorrow’s War the world depends on a single game. With the excuse of the reference to the video game, director and screenwriter allow humorous resources that are not brilliant but they do not disappoint either.
This atmosphere enables the use of special effects, one of the aspects that aroused the most interest from critics and fans. Do they work? Yes, with Chris Pratt and Yvonne Strahovski (The Predator), playing Colonel Muri, leading the viewer on a combat vehicle firing projectiles and coming out of clouds of smoke.
Tomorrow’s war is not Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015), perhaps the contemporary paradigm when it comes to action cinema. But the development of the combat and adrenaline scenes meet, as well as the recreation of the enemies. The special effects make sense when they are not noticed within the story and in this movie they are almost imperceptible in favor of the story.
The value of science
Throughout its two-hour duration, The War of Tomorrow raises the pulse between brute force and knowledge, concluding that one needs the other. Unlike Avatar (James Cameron, 2009), a film that also seems to have been influenced by the characteristics of the enemies of humanity, the boot does not step on the glasses or fill the medical gowns with blood.
However, the resolution of some narrative aspects may not be so solid, generating inconsistencies, hastily closing windows opened earlier for humor. Those details don’t disturb the experience, but their resolution detracts from the Amazon Prime Video movie. Still, it is possible to recognize interests of the director and screenwriter, who raise questions about the meaning of traditional education and global warming, for example.
Although in The War of Tomorrow that which puts human beings at risk is not a virus, research and knowledge emerge from the threat to try to find a solution. This, in a context during which part of global society recovers something of normality, outside of movie theaters and streaming platforms, works as an entertaining tribute to the hours spent in front of a squared notebook or to experiments within laboratories.