Look, Chris Pratt is a fun actor. He brings great energy to the screen as well as his trademark confused faces. Even he couldn't carry this trainwreck of a script.
The plot is just a recycling of various story points from a smattering of films in the Ridley Scott "Alien" universe and spinoffs.
Creatures with armored skin and flailing, stabby tails?
Check, just like "Alien", except in this non-copyright violating take the tails are tentacles and they shoot barbs out at range PEW PEW!
Said creatures are used by another race of aliens as weapons?
Check, just like "Prometheus", except they reveal that plot point as a one-liner throwaway that happened so fast it was actually impressive.
Said creatures are carried around in ships to drop on planets and one crash landed somewhere, and they incubate in eggs?
Little mashup of "AVP" and "Prometheus", because in TTW, a ship crash lands in Siberia and the aliens are hibernating in egg-like pods. It is also explicitly mentioned, and I'm paraphrasing here, "we don't know how these things reproduce. Probably lay eggs or something". Wow, small world.
It's like the writers knew everyone saw these other films so they didn't bother writing anything important. "Ehhh, you guys get it, let's shoot some stuff"
Anyway, to the plot:
The world cup is on and oh my future people come and say "we need your help because aliens are killing us". They are immediately taken at their word and so soldiers are conscripted out of the general population to fight for a seven day tour.
Chris Pratt is a super genius scientist, ex special forces soldier, who teaches high school science for some reason. Special attention is paid to a nerdy kid in his class obsessed with ancient volcanoes, hint hint. He's applying for a job at a big lab or something and he isn't hired so he breaks an iPad. He then existentially laments to his nine year old daughter. Off to a good start when your main character has poor boundaries with his kid
In this movie's universe, time passes, in the future and the past, at the same...time. So you can travel back and forth between future and past, and if ten minutes went by in future time, you would return ten minutes after you left in the past. This is a clever move by the writers because it is dead-simple, is easily digestible, and writing a good time travel film is way above their ability level. For instance, the way that they handle "paradoxes" in the film is to have characters bring up the concept of interacting with a future self - in a twenty second conversation - before saying "oh they must pick people who are dead in the future to avoid paradoxes". Thereby they avoid having to talk about interesting concepts because there are guns to shoot. Continuing.
Chris Pratt is drafted into the "super smart solider research team" made up of mostly civilian weeinies who are commanded by someone who turns out to be Pratt's now adult daughter, which is easily deducible; they used Chris Pratt's surly father as a plot device earlier, inferring abandonment and whatever. Anyway, there's yer personal conflict done. We'll just wrap that up in a little bow later.
Oh no, Chris Pratt is going to the future but something went wrong! He falls a hundred feet in the air into a rooftop swimming pool and is A-OK. Most of the research team gets dropped to the ground to their deaths. Don't worry; the comic relief guy and the angry guy teammates made it so there will be plenty of filler lines for everyone.
Daughter instructs soldierman to go to lab to extract research team because city is overrun with "white-spikes". Research team is dead, so they save the research. Couple of expendable characters with no military training heroically and without hesitation sacrifice themselves. The city is carpet bombed and the survivors make it to the new base.
Now command wants to see Chris Pratt. Before he goes, he finds out angry guy teammate has cancer and wants to die in the fight. Wonder if that'll be important later.
Trooper O'Readsmuch meets his Colonel daughter and she reveals their relation. She's ALSO a super smart soldier scientist and she needs his help. With what, you asked? She won't really say. Something bad happened with her dad in her timeline. MYSTERIOUS. Gotta milk that personal conflict
She does tell him that they're going to catch the momma alien to test to see what synthetic toxins will kill her since she's immune to the other ones they've tried. The other toxins kill the non-mommas fine. So super genius Chris Pratt doesn't suggest, "hey, why don't we just use the working toxins to kill the non-mommas and then just kill the momma one all regular-like"? Super genius Chris Pratt's daughter doesn't think of that either. What did they do with that research stuff from before? I don't know.
So they go capture this queen in a cage certainly not directly styled off of the ones in Jurassic Park. Chris Pratt fast ropes in for some action points, they pull the queen out. Her babies are after them. Some of them jump onto helicopters from ridges because they have skin like flying squirrels apparently. That one is NOT ripped from another franchise. That was all the writers, baby, showin' off the brain trust output!
Anyway father and daughter then escape on a humvee and get to a beach. To pass the time until they're picked up, Pratt Jr. tells her dad that in her timeline he abandoned the family. Pratt can't believe it. No growth whatsoever happens for anyone.
OK now they're at a research base in the middle of the ocean. Col. Pratt Jr just has to crack this toxin formula. The computer says it's only 35% bonded! Why that certainly means something science related and it just won't do! So the next however many hours are spent with them "working" which is basically - and they say this - waiting for their computer to figure out the secret formuloi.
Anyway to fill that dead air, they kind of make up about other Pratt leaving the family. Col Pratt reveals that there is no way to stop the attack in her time, so she wants him to take whatever toxin they find back to save his own future. As luck has it, the computer finds a fabulous toxin with 100% excellence and at that very moment the mother calls to her children who swarm the base. She could've done that earlier, but I guess she just didn't want to be rude and interrupt their work. Daughter hands dad the only vial of toxin to take back and mass produce, meaning that scientists in the past would have to waste a bunch of time figuring out how to make it again. Why didn't she just ask smart computer to share the recipe instead? Why didn't she email it to a bunch of people to increase the chances of it making it back with someone? Sounds like everyone has just about maxed out their brain power at this point.
Daughter gets dad to the time portal and predictably dies falling off a ledge into a maw of aliens with munchies just as dad DIVES IN to save her. But he gets pulled into the portal along with other survivors just as the time gate generator blows up. Both the silly and sassy side characters made it. The jump gate is down and the world flips its lid, rioting, closing borders. Professor Soldier tries to get the toxin mass produced but no one is listening. He's determined to save his now daughter.
The crew figures out, through some great science, that the aliens have volcanic ash in their claws from an ancient Chinese volcano eruption. But...the future said the aliens first appeared in Russia without evidence of landing. This is where stolen "Alien" plots come in full bore. Our heroes come to this conclusion by - you guessed it - talking to the nerdy kid obsessed with Ancient Volcanoes in commando smartman's class. Literally in the class. Inside the classroom, with students everywhere. Nerd boy snaps his fingers for "a laptop" - winks at the girl who dropped it off #cringefest - and pulls up a fully functional ancient volcanic ash wind-spreading fluid dynamics simulation as well as an arctic ice thaw model (the aliens thawed out because of global warming, +1 for bringing an actual crisis mainstream) from nothing on a Macbook Air. That M1 chip is really something.
The ragtag bunch - including fighter wiseguy's dad - sneak into Siberia through a closed border with a buttload of toxin made by some of the future people who escaped to the past before the gate blew. Apparently future people all have innate talent with poison.
The crew finds the ship pretty much immediately after they land because Salutes Poindexter's snowmobile display glitches for a second and that means magnets under the earth. The ship is magnetic, you see, because magnetism is science stuff and this is a scifi movie.
They blow up some permafrost to get to the buried craft and find the chomper alien's pods. They test out the toxin on a handful of em and it works! Their chosen method of dispersal: long injector guns with huge needles that you need to be up close and steady to use. These people reverse engineered the toxin in a day but couldn't put the toxin in bullets or something?
Oh no they've awoken the horde! GI PhD sees momma in a pod and tries to shoot her up, but she escapes. As the team tries to kill the bad guys, they see a giant room filled with pods all waking up. Luckily they've wired the place with C4, and so the angry cancer-riddled background character sacrifices himself to blow the ship, killing all of the aliens, and in so doing renders the toxin completely irrelevant to the resolution of the alien threat. These writers care even less about this movie than I did
Luckily dad, funny guy, and Educated McShooty make it out...but momma escaped too! Dad and son go after her, playing out some kind of twisted parental metaphor. They find her and attack. The battle is raging and, they're on the edge of a cliff. I can just imagine the writer's room detailing this moment in excitement and it makes me depressed.
Anyway, they keep fighting. They blind it. It's shooting darts at them. Dad cuts his hand to lure it off the edge and sacrifice himself, but Merc Wellread wrassles it down. Eventually he throws some toxin in its face which melts just like things in the Alien universe tend to. For good measure, the good Doctor Science kicks the alien off the side and the alien hits a rock below, popping like a jellybag because of the toxin. Dad and son collapse on the ground. Comic relief guy comes out of nowhere to join them. Scene.
Home again, Sergeant Diploma is pulling in a trashcan from the street for some reason. His family greets him, he loves his daughter. He has a limp. He brought grandpa along to meet his daughter. A nice voiceover explains that what made him happy was right in front of him all along.
People: It's hot garbage. The action wasn't fun, the jokes weren't funny, the plot made no sense, the characters are all two dimensional. Your best chance at having fun is to watch it with friends and treat it as a pure comedy instead.