During a televised futbol game a massive blue temporal rift opens up and a small group of humans dressed in black military gear steps onto the field.  The leader, her voice somehow already patched into the stadium speakers, tells everyone that they are from the future.  Humanity is losing a war against an alien race.  Without the help of their parents and grandparents, mankind will be wiped out within 11 years.  It’s a strong start, but this thinly veiled metaphor for global warming runs out of steam about halfway through.

The next generation’s solution is a bit convoluted.  A military draft is enacted, but only those who are known to be dead by the future date they are jumping to are selected.  A metal gauntlet is attached to the person’s arm that will facilitate their time travel.  After exactly 7 days, if the person wearing it still has a pulse, they will be brought back.  If the draftee runs, then their spouse or child will be selected to go in their place.  In retrospect, this is an empty threat since they cant send people who might still be alive in the future.

Dan Forester (Chris Pratt) is happily married with a young daughter when he is selected.  His wife pleads with him to reach out to his estranged anti-government father James (J.K. Simmons) to find a way to escape the draft.  Instead, he decides to suck it up and take his chances with the future war.  Up until this point, there are some great scenes of dialog and fun exposition.  Characters ask smart questions and the “rules” of this adventure are fleshed out.  Unfortunately, once we’re transported to the future the movie transitions to mindless run-and-gun action.   The aliens look pretty cool, with two tails that resemble the tentacles from Tremors monsters, but they seem to lack any real intelligence.  It’s hard to accept that all of humanity is at risk of extinction by a bunch of wild animals that aren’t difficult to drop with standard bullets.

By the time we reach the final act, all logic and intelligence have been thrown out the window.  The surviving characters mount an incredibly ludicrous last-ditch effort to rid the Earth of the aliens.  It’s as if screenwriter burned up all of his creativity in the first act and relied on tired tropes and laziness to wrap up the ending.  If you’re bored and have no better options, this movie could help pass the time.  Thankfully it won’t cost more than your time, as it’s currently available for streaming only on Amazon Prime.

The Tomorrow War