“The Tomorrow War” Review
“The Tomorrow War” was directed by Chris McKay and stars Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski, J.K. Simmons, Betty Gilpin, and Sam Richardson. In this film, soldiers from 30 years into the future travel back in time to ask the world for soldiers to help them fight the aliens that have taken out most of the humans in the future. Civilians from the present are drafted to go to the future, one being Dan Forester (Chris Pratt), a veteran and biologist. Action and chaos then ensues.
This film is expertly directed. It looks absolutely stunning. The action sequences are gripping throughout the whole movie, as they’re filmed with wide shots and plenty of energy & tension. You really feel like you’re one of the soldiers fighting this impossible battle. The CGI, sound design, and creature design are all spectacular as well. The aliens are original and terrifying.
The first 40 minutes of this film are nearly perfect. They do such a great job of setting up the dire stakes and when the action starts, it’s pulse-pounding. The filmmakers also did a great job of including realistic violence in a PG-13 movie while avoiding the R rating. It’s hard to do without excessive shaky cam or cut-aways, but “The Tomorrow War” did it.
Although this film is a ton of fun, it has a ton of plot holes and script issues. Not only does the film not end when it should, but the last 30 minutes made the first hour and a half pointless. Some of the most obvious plot holes I found were:
- How were people in the future able to build a time machine if they were busy trying to survive an alien invasion?
- Why did the future military only send people back in time 30 years earlier? Why not 50 or 100 years?
- Why are the people in the past in such a hurry? They have decades before the aliens come and they act like they have 1 day to live.
- Why are the present-day soldiers trained so poorly?
- How come people in their 50’s & 60’s are drafted?
Despite its messy script, “The Tomorrow War” has phenomenal direction, a great lead performance by Chris Pratt, a surprising amount of heart, and mind-blowing action sequences which make it a fun summer blockbuster worth seeing.
“No Sudden Move” Review
“No Sudden Move” was directed by Steven Soderbergh and was written by Ed Solomon. It has an all-star cast comprised of Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, David Harbour, Jon Hamm, Ray Liotta, Brendan Fraser, Matt Damon, and many others. The film follows small-time criminals Curt Goynes (Cheadle) and Ronald Russo (Del Toro) in 1950’s Detroit as they recover from a heist gone wrong and try to find buyers for their stolen blueprint of the automobile catalytic converter. Despite all the talent in front of and behind the camera, the film didn’t work for me.
Starting with the positives, the best part of this film is the ensemble cast, as every actor gives solid performances. All the actors clearly care and enjoy playing their characters. Don Cheadle and Benicio Del Toro were particularly great. I also adored the first thirty minutes of the film, mainly because it was the actual heist itself. Soderbergh has proven himself to be a brilliant heist director in the past (“Ocean’s 11,” “Logan Lucky”), and it’s clear during that sequence. The musical score by David Holmes added a lot of tension to the scenes and captured the time period well.
Unfortunately, the film nosedives after the first thirty minutes. The script is a terrible, convoluted mess, especially for a film that’s less than 2 hours. It is tightly packed with a ton of mob characters and businessmen with 5-10 minutes of screentime and have no memorable traits. It was really hard to keep track of names, the conflicts between different characters, and motivations. Also, the plot was nearly impossible to follow. The two main characters go from place-to-place and person-to-person so many times that you just start to lose interest and become bored. The film is extremely, extremely boring.
Another negative aspect was this ridiculous fisheye camera lens that Soderbergh used. The whole screen is curved. In every scene there would be a character that looked comically skinny and all of the backgrounds looked cartoonish. This is a very ugly movie. Soderbergh was extremely pretentious in how he made the film; he went for style over substance and failed. The lens doesn’t add or relate to the story, but is rather just some strange experiment Soderbergh wanted to try.
“No Sudden Move” wastes its amazing cast and becomes a boring, convoluted, overly artsy, and ugly-looking film due to its terrible script and pretentious direction.