By Arré Bench Jun. 17, 2021
Amazon Prime Video’s The Tomorrow War has all the ingredients of the perfect summer blockbuster – baffling scale, thrilling action, time travel, a family as its anchor and a hero in the irresistibly charismatic Chris Pratt.
Nothing says summer blockbuster like a good old battle between humans and aliens. For decades now alien invasions have been thwarted or engaged with in different ways. It seems to evoke, at least on screen, the best in humans. When they don’t have each other to bicker about, humans, this genre tells us, find a way of coming together and working for the greater good.
In a way, aliens have served as inspiration for many a war that has left humanity, though crippled, but with a better understanding of what it means to be human. From horror, to sci-fi to even comedy, Alien invasions have been interpreted in a variety of ways, each with its own streak of imagination and creativity. Amazon Prime Video’s The Tomorrow War, stacked with stunning visuals and raised on a gargantuan scale, seems like a worthy new addition to a fan-favourite genre. Here are five reasons why the trailer of The Tomorrow should have you excited:
Can you get enough of Chris Pratt?
What a career Pratt has had. From comedy puff-boy to action star. Of all the superstars making big bucks off of the super-hero frenzy that has the world in its grip, Pratt is easily one of the most magnetic personalities. Forget his acting and roles, Pratt is an absolute joy to even listen to during his interviews. His sense of comedy comes naturally, and has shone through various roles like the one in Guardians of Galaxy and the Jurassic Park franchise.
Not for no reason would vast projects like these trust the actor’s shoulders if they weren’t ready to hold together blockbuster films. Pratt started out as a comedic actor and his years of essaying comedy has given him the natural charisma that most actors have to strain hard for. There simply isn’t a dull moment with him on screen and that is saying precious little for the man, who should perhaps also have his own talk show. For now let’s watch him talk to aliens.
The mere mention of time travel raises expectations attached to a film. Relate it to mega-scale blockbusters and you are even more curious what the Director’s vision would turn out to be like. Time travel has become a common trope, but it still requires a sensibility that doesn’t completely alienate the viewer. Yes, we want to see high-concept jugglery happening on screen, but we also don’t want to feel lost.
Also, time travel is an interesting socio-logical experiment, to understand how humans see their past or their future, through their imagination. Often in apocalyptic settings the sight isn’t pretty, but it is still fascinating to see every filmmaker’s unique take on time and how it melts into the main story. It’s a sign of accomplished writing and filmmaking when the two seem inseparable and co-dependent. The Tomorrow War, as the name suggests, might be about tomorrow while being fought tomorrow as well. Anything’s possible.
A story anchored in family
Too many apocalyptic sci-fi films are either too self-engrossed in their science or too particular about their larger politics to want to care for the characters and their stories in between. Even the most outlandish stories require a human anchor, one that is made up of emotions we can relate to. Even in the presence of aliens and futuristic technologies the heart yearns for what is familiar.
And what’s closer than family, people you’d give your life for in the time of crisis. The Tomorrow war seems similarly held together by a family torn apart by the catastrophe at our door. Again, it’s aliens who become the inspiration for us to understand what is the most valuable thing we can hold onto, when the world is about to end – family.
A diverse cast
Before anything else let’s just appreciate the fact that someone finally cast J K Simmons in an action film where he might just get to slap a few aliens and ask them ‘was I rushing or was I dragging’ (remember the iconic scene from Whiplash). Simmons cuts such an authoritative figure, no wonder he seems bald and ready to beat down some alien behinds alongside Pratt.
Besides Simmons’ presence the film has a diverse cast, including the incredibly funny Sam Richardson. If you’ve seen even an episode of the Emmy winning comedy Veep, you’ll know about the comedic faculties that Richardson boasts. The fact that he is teaming up with Pratt here suggests a bucket full of laughs and banter that will keep the action colourful.
Some scenes from the trailer of the film already suggest that Director Chris McKay has left no stone unturned in choreographing breath-taking action sequences, built on a scale that is near ludicrous. The sight of alien organisms attacking human check posts, cities on fire and a horizon that seems it has been painted suggests the film will be a spectacle to behold. So much so, you might as well keep everything aside and just revel in the view.
Action films are often thought of as technical accomplishments, but they are also massive art projects, each frame of which has to be carefully crafted to ensure there is a synergy to all the mayhem unleashing on screen, and a certain beauty to how everything moves, falls or even explodes. It takes a village to create, and it shows in The Tomorrow war.
So mark your calendars for this invasion of action, drama, thrill and spectacle. The Tomorrow War, premiers on Amazon Prime Video on 2nd of July.