Streaming reviews July 9 -12: The Tomorrow War, Good On Paper

BIG BUDGET:Yvonne Strahovski in alien invasion film, The Tomorrow War.
BIG BUDGET:Yvonne Strahovski in alien invasion film, The Tomorrow War.

THE TOMORROW WAR

Amazon Prime

YES, here's yet another alien invasion movie. It seems that humanity can't get enough of watching itself almost be obliterated, or in this case, eaten.

With it's grandiose explosions, ample battle sequences, lizard-like aliens and slick special effects, it's surprising that The Tomorrow War didn't appear in it's natural cinema setting, but that's the COVID era for you.

The Tomorrow War is kind of like Independence Day meets Alien meets Back To The Future, but of course, without Michael J. Fox or a DeLorean time machine.

In 2022 military from the year 2051 appear midway through a World Cup soccer match to inform the world that aliens, called White Spikes, have almost wiped out the human race.

This leads to people in 2022 being drafted and transported to 2051 to fight in the increasingly futile war against the aliens.

Chris Pratt (Jurassic World, Guardians Of The Galaxy) plays Iraq War veteran Dan Forester, a high school biology teacher who is disillusioned with his life after missing out on a scientific research job.

Dan is drafted into the war, leaving behind his wife and daughter, Muri.

Thankfully there's a little more heart and emotion than your typical alien invasion flick due to Dan's complicated relationship with his daughter in the future, played by Australian actress Yvonne Strahovski (The Handmaid's Tale).

Director Chris McKay, best known for The Lego Movie, mostly uses his big budget wisely. The SGI and action sequences generally push along the narrative and create tension, rather than simply trying to wow the viewer.

The film is unfortunately cruelled by silly and overly simplistic plot twists in the final act, but overwhelming The Tomorrow War is an enjoyable wild ride of action and drama.

IN THE AIR: Ryan Hansen and Iliza Shlesinger in Good On Paper.

IN THE AIR: Ryan Hansen and Iliza Shlesinger in Good On Paper.

GOOD ON PAPER

Netflix

IT sounds weird to describe romantic-comedy Good On Paper as neither romantic or exceptionally funny.

Normally that would be disastrous, particularly given it's stand-up comedian and actor Iliza Shlesinger's (Pieces Of A Woman, Instant Family) debut in a lead role and as screenplay writer. However, Good On Paper is both intelligent and a welcome deviation from the tired rom-com formula.

The film is loosely based on a real-life relationship Shlesinger was involved in, which later became one of her most notorious stand-up comedy stories.

Shlesinger plays Andrea, a 34-year-old stand-up comedian who has placed her career ambitions above romance, but is unfulfilled after a succession of failed acting auditions.

After meeting intelligent, yet nerdy, hedge funds manager and Yale graduate Dennis on a plane the pair become close friends. The platonic relationship eventually turns romantic, but at the same time Andrea and her bar manager best friend Margot (Margaret Cho) begin to suspect Dennis' "good on paper" personality and life isn't completely kosher.

Shlesinger brings her hectic and intense stand-up comedy style to her acting, which works in the film's chaotic moments, but can become irritating when less is required.

Good On Paper would benefit from more laugh-out-loud moments, but as an analysis of modern dating its worth swiping right for.