THE TOMORROW WAR*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
The film opens in Miami Beach as Dan Forester (Chris Pratt) and a number of other soldiers fall from the sky amidst a devastated landscape. Dan lands in a pool alongside other people, who continue falling.
Jump back 28 years earlier to December 2022. Dan is a biology teacher that lives with his wife Emmy (Betty Gilpin) and daughter Muri (Ryan Kiera Armstrong). At a Christmas party, Dan is waiting to hear back about a job at a research institute. He gets a phone call informing him that they have picked someone else for the position. As he goes back inside to watch The World Cup with his family, the arena suddenly has some kind of wormhole open up, with several soldiers from the future coming out before the confused viewers. A female soldier, Lieutenant Hart (Jasmine Mathews), announces to everyone that in 30 years time from that moment, humanity will be wiped from the face of the earth due to an overwhelming alien invasion. The hope is to recruit anybody they can to jump to the future and prevent humanity’s extinction.
A year later, riots and anti-war protests have gone on as the draft has been happening since the initial announcement, and there have been more casualties than anything. Hope for the future continues to dwindle. Even Dan’s students can focus on their work because they feel that everyone is just going to die anyway.
Dan is later called to report for a draft. After undergoing evaluation, he learns that he meets the qualifications because he has already died between the present and the time leading up to the invasion. He has a device placed onto his arm that will aid him in time-jumping. It is also revealed that Dan was a squad leader in Iraq 15 years earlier.
Given 24 hours to settle his affairs, Dan goes to Emmy’s job where she works as a therapist for people who returned from the draft. Emmy tells Dan that there is one person who can help get the family to safety, but it is Dan’s estranged father James (JK Simmons), whom he resents for abandoning him and his mother a long time ago. Dan visits James, who doesn’t trust the government and has gone off grid. Before Dan can ask for help, James says he has never wanted his help, which infuriates Dan because that’s the only thing he ever wanted from him, although James says that he would have only made things worse for Dan and his mother.
Dan returns home to Emmy and Muri, having to inform them that he has been drafted. The two are heartbroken and hug Dan goodbye.
Dan reports to the draft, where he meets other people like Charlie (Sam Richardson), Dorian (Edwin Hodge), Norah (Mary Lynn Rajskub), and Cowan (Mike Mitchell). The draftees are told about the process of time-jumping and the plan for their mission. Charlie tells Dan that they send people who have died before the war to avoid a paradox, while also noting that Dorian jumped back after killing an alien, which they refer to as Whitespikes.
Without any time to prepare, the draftees are alerted to pass through the Jumplink into the future where they will end up on Miami Beach. Things go wrong because the draftees are dropped off way higher than the plan was, causing several to fall to their deaths while Dan and others land in the water. After getting out, Dan reports to Romeo Command/the Colonel (Yvonne Strahovski), who informs the team that the military has issued a blanket bombardment on the area to wipe out any living things. She tells the team to rescue lab personnel before the bombs are dropped. The team moves forward into the facility where they find the lab crew dead but they recover their research. Soon, the team comes face-to-face with the Whitespikes, who are fast and deadly with whip-like tails. Dan and his crew manage to kill some Whitespikes as they run, but Cowan falls through a tunnel, and Dan attempts to help him. The Whitespikes are closing in, so Norah and Cowan stay behind to hold off as many as possible, just before the military drops the bombs on the tunnel, killing Norah, Cowan, and the Whitespikes.
The surviving draftees wake up at a camp in the Dominican Republic. Dan meets the Colonel, who turns out to be an adult Muri. She has some estrangement toward Dan for going through with the draft. She tells Dan that her team has located a female Whitespike whose physiology may be key in taking down the rest of the hive.
The team comes across the cave containing the female, but dozens of male Whitespikes start coming down. Some gets shredded by chopper blades while the soldiers continue to fight them off. The team manages to cage the female, albeit with Dan nearly compromising the mission to save Muri. She reprimands him and then reveals to him that he died seven years after the draft in a car accident, and Muri witnessed his final moments, all of this being after he returned from the draft and became disillusioned and left his family, hence her estrangement toward him.
The team brings the female back to an oil rig where the Jumplink is so that they can produce a toxin from the female’s blood that will wipe out all the Whitespikes. Soon, many more aliens overrun the base and attack, leading to another ferocious battle. The time in the Jumplink is about to expire, and the female Whitespike breaks free. The female attacks and causes the bridge to collapse with Muri on there. Although Dan tries to save her, she lets go so that she and the female can die while Dan and the surviving draftees return to their present year.
Upon returning, Dan tries desperately to go back and attempt to save Muri, but it is futile as the Jumplink is now offline, making the jump back impossible. He has also managed to hold onto the toxin, as they were unable to pry it from his hands.
Dan returns home. While talking to Emmy, he tells her that he met Muri as an adult and worked with her. Emmy suggests that the aliens didn’t arrive in 2048 when the invasion began, but that they may have been there much earlier. Dan then goes to a bar where he finds Dorian, who tells him that he has terminal cancer. Dan asks him about a Whitespike claw that he kept as a souvenir, and they discover ash on it that came from Russia. Dan asks one of his students about info regarding volcanic ash, leading to all of them deducing that the Whitespikes have already been on earth this whole time and were thawed out by global warming.
Dan, Charlie, and Dorian attempt to get help from a government higher-up to allow them to take on a mission to Russia, but he denies them. Dan then goes to James for help, and they, along with the other soldiers make it to Russia and discover the site of the frozen Whitespikes. It turns out that the ship they came in on was not theirs, but rather to a different species that was carrying the Whitespikes as cargo to eliminate other planets. They proceed to inject the toxin into the Whitespikes, but the aliens wake up and begin to attack. After an intense battle, Dorian sacrifices himself to obliterate the Whitespikes with a bomb. Unfortunately, the female Whitespike remains, and she goes after Dan and James. They attempt to inject her with the poison, but she bites her arm off to prevent it from spreading. After beating it further, Dan shoves the toxin into the female’s throat and knocks her off a cliff where she splatters, officially ending all the Whitespikes for good.
News about the war’s prevention spreads, with the higher-up from earlier taking credit for Dan and the others making the trip. Dan reunites with Emmy and Muri, and he introduces Muri to James.
30 years into the future, an alien race called Whitespikes causes the extinction of humanity. People all over the world are being drafted to fight in the future to prevent the destruction from happening. Biology teacher and former soldier Dan Forester is drafted and finds himself in the future working with his adult daughter Muri to fight the Whitespikes.
The team develops a toxin from the female Whitespike that is substantially stronger than the males. The aliens attack the oil rig where the team is, leading to Muri's death while Dan is sent back to the present, the Jumplink to the future now being severed for good. Dan then finds a bright spot when he realizes that the Whitespikes have been on earth all along, having been later thawed out by global warming. They were also brought there by other aliens to wipe out other planets before their ship crashed on earth. Dan and some soldiers, along with his estranged father James, go to Russia to the site of the ship. After battling the majority of the aliens and killing them, Dan and James battle the female until Dan shoves the toxin down her throat to kill her, effectively eliminating the threat in the future.
The war is prevented and Dan is able to return home to his wife and daughter.