Tomorrow War film review | Book Addicts

Tomorrow War (2021 film)

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The Tomorrow War is a 2021 Paramount film that was sold to Amazon for $200 million.  Nice decision. 🙂

10 out of 10 stars.  Loved it.  Loved the parts that were taken directly from other alien classic films.  Let’s hope Chris Pratt follows in his father-in-law Arnold Schwarzenegger’s shoes and makes more action films.

December 2022, Miami

Dan Forester is a former soldier who used the GI Bill to get a degree in science.  Now he teaches high school biology.  During his family’s Christmas party, as they’re watching the final match of the World Cup Soccer on TV, a wormhole opens up in the middle of the soccer field and armed soldiers march out.  They explain that they are from the future and losing a war against aliens.  They need us to help them.

World leaders meet and agree to institute a world wide draft for civilians–mothers, fathers, grandparents.  People are sent 29 years into the future by the thousands.  Less than 30% return and they are so deeply traumatized they are unable to function.  Worse yet, they are still losing the war against the aliens.

December 2023, Miami

One year later, Dan is finally drafted.  He’s pulled from class, taken to a room, where a device is physically drilled into his arm as he’s told he’s going to die seven years in the future so he’s been drafted.  He’s assigned R Force and has 24 hours to say goodbye to his family.  His wife begs him to see his dad, who removes these devices and helps people run.  But Dan hates his dad because he left his mom and him when he was little.  Dan goes to see his father, but once there he realizes he has to go fight or there will be no future for his daughter Muri.

Once Dan is drafted, we get an insider’s view of the war.  Draftees are all over 40 and the trainees from the future are all under 30.  This is their way to avoid the same person occupying the same space at the the same time and creating a paradox.  The other thing the draftees all have in common is that they die in the next 29 years, so in the future they’re going to, they don’t exist.  Seven years from 2023, Dan will die in a car accident.  That’s how he’s drafted.

The draftees are given weapons and rudimentary training in using them.  That’s it.  No gear.  No uniforms.  No call signs.  No other training of any kind.  Every seven days, the aliens (called whitespikes) disappear into their nests.  In the future, they call this the sabbath, their day of rest.  That’s the length of a tour, seven days, from one sabbath to the next.  So the draftees are given less than seven days to prepare to fight an unknown alien.  When one of the draftees asks why they aren’t shown images of the aliens, the trainer responds because no one would fill the hangers (they’d all run).

Dan is assigned R Force because of his science degree.  R is research.  They’re working on a toxin to kill the aliens.  He and the other RForce draftees are sent to the future early when the research facility is attacked.  Remember this is the very end of the war.  It’s almost over.  Further dooming them to failure is a glitch in the jump drive that drops them from 500 feet instead of 5 feet off the ground.  Dan is dropped into a swimming pool on top of  a skyscraper with about a dozen others.  The rest fall to their deaths or receive life-threatening injuries.  From there they get their first glimpse of the enemy.  Over twice the size of humans, they’re white with six legs and two antennae that shoot poisonous spikes.  They’re fast, they eat humans, and they fly.  We never stood a chance.

After the debacle of being dropped from 500 feet, the draftees are contacted by the head of the research team, Colonel Forester.  She gives them their first assignment–rescue the research team int he building in front of them.  So that’s where they go.  There are about 20 of them left of the thousands they sent.  No wonder they’re losing.  They’re told a blanket bomb drop has been ordered to “clean” the town and they don’t have much time.

Inside the building there are spikes everywhere and human blood.  They find the research team hanging in the atrium.  Colonel Forester sends them to the labs to retrieve hard drives, biological material, and blue ampules.  She sends an extraction team to save them.  Dan is in charge and he alone keeps most of them alive for the first 20 minutes.  Then it’s all about the numbers.  They outnumber us 10 to 1.

Remember these are civilians.  Dan trains them as they go and tries keeping them alive.  They get the hard drives, the biological material, and the blue ampules, but are attacked in the stairwell by whitespikes.  Those whitespikes chase them onto the street and the only clear path is through the red smoke which marks the bomber’s route.  The extraction team is killed by whitespikes right in front of them, leaving them only one route–over the roof of and underground parking garage with slits in it.  One of them falls through the roof and the entire team follows, trying to save him.  Bad move.  The bombing begins.  Only six of them leave the parking garage alive and three of them receive mortal wounds.

Dan wakes up in the Dominican Republic at the research facility.  Only three of them are left–Dan, Dorian, and Charlie.  Then he meets Colonel Forester, his daughter Muri.  She’s the reason he was drafted.  She needed someone she could trust to take the toxin back with them to 2023 so that when the aliens come in the future we can kill them.

Muri takes Dan with her to show him what they’re up against.  They have a toxin that kills the males, but it doesn’t kill the larger females (who have red bellies).  So they capture a female, drug her, and take her to the jump drive facility, the last safe place.  That was a mistake.

And here’s the only plothole.  R Force was jumped early, before the sabbath.  But as they’re working on the toxin, she mentions tomorrow is the sabbath and he’ll be going home.  Except he should already be home.  Plot hole.

They eventually find a toxin that works on the female, but when they test it on her, she screams and calls all the males.  The facility is overrun and Muri is shot with a female’s spike.  As she falls into a nest of whitespikes attacking the facility, Dan is jumped back to the past and the jump drive facility is taken offline and destroyed by whitespikes.  There will be no more jumps either way.

So here Dan is back in 2023 with a working toxin that kills the whitespikes.  But no one in government will listen to him.  There are riots from people who realize our future is doomed.  So Dan takes what Muri told him about the whitespikes and tries to figure out where they will land.  1.  They never found where the whitespikes landed.  It must have been remote because they were undetected by satellite imagery.  But they first destroyed Russia.  That was 2048.  Three years later, in 2051, was when they came back to get help from us because they realized there was no way to save the future, so they had to save the past.

When Dan explains everything to his wife, she tells him they probably didn’t see the aliens land because they were already here.  So Dan, Charlie (a geologist), and Damian (who carries a whitespike claw around his neck) use what they know and the whitespike claw to figure out where in Russia to look.  And that whitespike claw has ancient Chinese volcanic ash in it.  They go to the only ancient volcano expert they know, one of Dan’s students.  He explains that in 946 AD there was a giant eruption of a Chinese volcano with the force of 1,000 bombs that spread ash over half the world.  They run a simulation of global warming melting effects and see that the glacier over Russia melted in 2048, which means (drum roll please)…the aliens were here the whole time under a glacier in Russia waiting to thaw.

Dan enlists his dad (who flies planes), Charlie, Damian, and two future soldiers who trained them to go with him to Russia to kill the aliens.  What they find is an alien ship under the ice with two kinds of aliens.  The aliens flying the ship, the ones in charge, are not whitespikes.  Whitespikes were their cargo, a kind of biological weapon they used to clear planets.  But they crashed here.  They didn’t land.  So did they mean to destroy our planet?  Or was it an accident?  It appears to have been an accident.

They start injecting the whitespikes with the toxin, but they wake up and escape their egg sacs.  Then they start killing everything and the female escapes the ship.  While Damian and the two future soldiers set explosives in the alien ship, Dan, his dad, and Charlie chase the female.  Damian, and the two future soldiers, blow up the alien ship killing all the males.  Dan, his dad, and Charlie kill the female.

The end.  World saved.

10 out of 10 stars.  This film has a history.  It was made by Paramount Pictures (owned by Tom Cruise) during the COVID-19 pandemic.  When Cruise realized he couldn’t make his money back by releasing the film in theaters, he sold it to Amazon Studios for $200 million.  So we could watch it on Prime. 🙂


Scenes in The Tomorrow War that look familiar for a reason–they’re taken from other famous alien films.

Alien design

Taken from Alien: Covenant, A Quiet Place, and also The Cave.

Actress playing Muri Forester

Played the wife/mom in newest Predator film.

Flying aliens

Taken from The Cave (although technically they aren’t aliens)

Alien queen

Taken from Aliens and also Starship Troopers

Capturing the female alien

Taken from Starship Troopers when they capture “the brain”

Muri falling into nest of aliens

Taken from Alien 4: Resurrection when Ripley falls into nest of aliens

Aliens hidden under ice

Taken from The Thing, AVP: Aliens vs. Predator, and also Smilla’s Sense of Snow

Aliens in the cargo hold are used as biological weapons by the aliens who crash landed

Taken from Alien, Alien: Prometheus, and also AVP: Alien vs. Predator

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