Imagine knowing your future? How about knowing when you will die? That is the premise for the new Amazon movie released last Friday, July 2nd.
FYI – this movie review contains spoilers.
The Tomorrow War tells a story of what would happen if humans were about to become extinct due to a conquering alien race. The scenario on what would happen involves the use of time travel.
Thirty years in the future an alien race nearly wipes out humans. They do not even have enough people to fight this off because the aliens are savagely killing us off. The solution is to go back 30 years in the past to recruit more people to fight. Which in theory is not only wiping out the people of the future but the people in the past also.
But a twist here is that they seem to pick people who are not alive in thirty years. Which I guess solves the question of creating a paradox of existing at two places at one time.
Another twist is that when you go to the future to fight in the army, you only go for seven days before you are beamed back to your own time.
However, if you are recruited in our time to fight in the future and they have you dying in five years and you die in the future fighting aliens does not that change the timeline. So, the future people come from 2051 and they pick people that would not be there in 2051. So, the future technology shows them a person whose death certificate says they die in 2030 but they die in 2022 going to the future of 2051, isn’t that affecting the timeline?
Time travel as a plot device is never easy or clean.
Our story centers on Dan Forester (Chris Pratt), who is a biology teacher and ex-green beret. Dan is drafted into the war and sent to the future. However, something goes wrong with the time equipment and no one else can go through it. Dan and his team are ordered to rescue a team of scientists and the virus they had been working on to save the world. Finding the scientist killed by the aliens (Whitespikes) they are ordered to bring back the test viruses.
Dan is then taken to the colonel in charge to find out that it is his daughter Muri (Yvonne Strahovski) all grown up. Together they develop a virus that will kill the alien and Dan is expected to take this virus back to his original time to use it to kill the aliens before they start their invasion.
Essentially, that is the plot.
Like I said, it is a time travel story with more than a few holes.
Chris Pratt does a good job as Dan Forester but for the sake of the story, he is put in situations because of who he is. His reactions are first of wonderment then he takes it all in stride when thrown in the heat of battle as a typical everyday thing. Dude, you are in the future be amazed. When he gets to the future and finds out his future is not so bright and he watches his daughter die, that becomes his reasoning for stopping this war before it begins. If he stops this war from ever happening then the death, he watches his daughter die never happens. But I am going to get back to that.
Back in his regular time, Dan enlists the aid of his father James (J.K. Simmons), who is a Vietnam vet and an anti-government survivalist, along with two soldiers he went into the future with (Sam Richardson and Edwin Hodge) to find these aliens in the present time and destroy them so the war never happens.
Although I liked this movie, my problem with it was predictability. His draftee friend Charlie having a Ph.D. in Earth and Atmospheric Science and his student played by Seth Scenall, all had a purpose you can see coming a mile away. You can tell there was a reason for each character to be there. It was too nice of a complete package.
One of the main driving forces for Dan Forester to do what he wanted to do to fix the future for the world and his daughter was to stop this alien invasion so people, especially his daughter would live and have a better future. The problem I had was we saw no future resolution. We do not know if knowing the future and how to change it actually works. We do not know if his fate or his daughters’ fate is sealed. We do not know that since they stopped the invasion do the people from the future even come to the past. Does this action change the timeline in any way?
This is a fun movie to watch as long as you do not think about the questions it poses. But that is the price for movies based on time travel. Every writer has different views on how this works. Check this out on Amazon Prime yourself and let us know what you think in the comments.
Kenny Walker Jr