July 3, 2021

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‘Tomorrow’s war’: a sci-fi blockbuster on Amazon Prime as funny as it is mindless

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Like the ‘Fast & Furious’ movies, ‘The war of tomorrow’ does not intend to deceive anyone: its simple narrative to the schematic (At no time do we separate ourselves from a protagonist in a single piece, without notable nuances or conflicts) and its shameless texture, which mixes dozens of films already seen, makes its nature clear. It’s a blockbuster summery of shots, humor and drops of drama, nothing more (and nothing less).

In fact, ‘The war of tomorrow’, unlike so many other exclusive premieres that arrive every week on HBO, Netflix or Prime Video itself it was going to be released last summer in theaters, and it would have held up perfectly the type among other blockbusters of its style. But the pandemic forced the producers to drop ballast, and this was one of the most notorious losses: instead of delaying its premiere for a year, as happened with ‘Fast & Furious 9’ (which in the end it has rented from Universal), it was sold to Amazon Prime Video for 200 million euros. Dollars.

The result is a noisy and excessive movie that would work better in a movie theater, but after all we are getting used to this other option. Of course: as an alternative to so much pilot episode of the series disguised as a movie, it feels good to see some full-fledged action cinema. As long as it is not a problem to face the umpteenth rehash of ‘Independence Day’ and ‘The war of the worlds’, and not to place too much hope in the gimmick of time travel hoping to find a fireworks display in the fourth dimension.

The film begins when a battalion of soldiers from the future shows up today saying that just a few decades from now humans are locked in a war with a fierce alien species, and that we are losing. You have to bring in battalions of humans from the present to fight them. One of these soldiers is Chris Pratt, who thirty years later will be revealed as a key element for the survival of the species.

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After a couple of concise, violent pieces of film noir with few characters, ‘The escape’ and ’24 hours to die ‘, the screenwriter Zach Dean has written with’ The war of tomorrow ‘a film that could pass as the film of alien invasions of the season, but what it preserves something of that way of telling things when one is obliged to benefit from a certain economy of means. And that benefits her.

Therefore, the film is not complicated by time travel. They are round trips to a specific point, and the only justification is that it is already difficult to travel in time, imagine how to go around doing it with virguerias. Namely, the war could take place in the present, but it would force a narration of the invasion and eliminate a small dramatic component between the protagonist and the character of Yvonne Strahovski (‘The Handmaid’s Tale’), so in this case time travel is to clean the story of dust and straw, not to complicate it.

This desire to make the film as simple as possible also affects the drama, which draws on topical conflicts so as not to have to overexplain and, above all, and that is the great value of the film, it presents some few but very long action sequences, three big pieces at the beginning, middle and end of the film, with very defined scenarios. Chris McKay rounds out the operation from the director’s chair, shooting the action with clarity and resorting to precise violence and flirtation with terror. The result is a self-contained and tense film, which goes from point A to B without being entertained and without trying to reinvent the wheel.

And on these finds some extra gifts are still allowed. The design of the aliens is excellent and scary, the supporting actors provide super solidity to the story (starting with JK Simmons and continuing with the two actresses in the film, Strahovski and Betty Gilpin) and, in general, everything is in place. Pure summer for a film that, from modesty, gives a few lessons on narrative economy to Marvel’s most unbalanced productions, such as’Black widow‘, without going further. A very welcome invasion.