I loved this movie and really loved live tweeting it with Lisa Bowman. There are some critics (killjoys) who want to pick on the movie because it doesn’t “make sense.” No one said this was being made for the Science Channel; so, just cool it and enjoy! Do I think that time travel is a bunch of nonsense? Yes, but so what?! I don’t believe in “Letters of Transit,” Facehuggers, or the Force.
I can relate to the hero A LOT; he’s a Veteran with Daddy issues who is trying to get a career going in STEM and he has a young daughter. The film opens with us learning he is teaching high school science and can’t get a private sector job. He feels like he’s meant for more, but can’t get there. He and his wife are hosting a Christmas party and watching soccer. Dan, I know that times are tough, but why bring soccer into it? I don’t think that people watch soccer on purpose. How could they? Why make your life harder? Our future-selves appear and ask for help in fighting aliens who are turning us into snacks. We agree to help and mobilize a global draft.
This is where most critics get worked up. Why help fight a battle that is already lost? I’ll tell you! The movie makes more sense than people think. Why send Dan Forester (Chris Pratt) and millions of other people from our time to fight aliens from the future? They needed cannon fodder while they protected researchers who created a toxin to kill the male and female aliens. Without that toxin, Dan would not have been able to defeat the alien queen. Take that! The whole plan is to get the toxin finished and have Dan go back and kill all the aliens with it. Without it, she would’ve eaten him. Yes, we needed the cannon fodder. If Dan succeeds, wouldn’t that bring all the draftees back to life? Yeah, maybe? Einstein didn’t really didn’t have to deal with too many aliens and wormholes. I would put that in the column of …. relax.
Back to the movie, Dan gets drafted and his wife wants him to get his estranged father to help him remove his draft tracking device. Dan’s father abandoned him and his mother; so, Dan gets angry at his father and decides to honor his draft commitment and fight aliens. He goes to the future with no training, fights aliens, and retrieves the toxin. Way to go, Dan.
These monsters are gross and good adversaries. They’re fast, they shoot spikes, the eat you, they have natural armor, and can coordinate attacks. We are doomed. After he gets the toxin, he meets his grown daughter Muri who is the head of the resistance. We learn Dan fell into a depression because he couldn’t live a bigger life and he abandons his family just like his father did. This is why Muri drafted Dan: She wanted him to be his best self and to be the special person that he needed to be after his military life was over. She gives her father a chance to be a hero again. When Muri finishes the toxin, he goes back to save the future or the past …it’s kinda confusing.
I have given quite a bit of the film away, but it’s still amazing. I appreciate the critique that Charlie (Sam Richardson) brought too much humor to the film. I actually liked it, but I could’ve lived without it as well. Instead of the endless jokes, I would’ve liked more development of Dorian (Edwin Hodge). His lines popped more and brought more seriousness to the film. Were Charlie’s jokes funny? Yes, but while the jokes went on, I thought- I really wish I could hear more from Dorian interacting with Dan.
The direction was very well done. I love a well choreographed action movie without a lot of cutaways. This delivered. I was surprised to learn that Chris McKay’s filmography was heavily in animation. I hope he gets more opportunities for live action. The final battle scene was a lot of fun. I liked that the female characters had depth, kicked ass, and had real arcs. Because of that, my daughters love watching the movie with me. I can only write that we haven’t seen the movie six times.