Tomorrow, When the War Began (2010) – Review

3 1/2 Stars


Tomorrow, When the War Began is a taut, exciting thriller from director/writer Stuart Beattie, based on a novel of the same name. The movie was filmed back in 2010 and is just now receiving a direct-to-DVD release. Do not let that misnomer fool potential viewers, this is an above average production that deserves to be seen. The story takes place in a small Australian town, and centers on a group of seven teenagers. While the teens are away deep in the outback on a camping trip, they witness a horde of jet fighter planes roaring over-head. The kids take little notice and presume the armada is a military training exercise. When they return to desolate homes, it becomes apparent that a foreign army has occupied their country. This leads to a cat and mouse game between the witty teens and the soldiers patrolling for stragglers.

The idea behind this film is not original. It has most notably been done before, (albeit in a much more juvenile manner) with Red Dawn. Instead of a Russian invasion of American, we are presented here with a Asian military force occupying Australia. The Queensland territory is desirable due to its vast land and plentiful natural resources. The rebellious teens pool their talents and energy to stave off their captors. This well cast bunch, is lead by the beautiful Caitlin Stasey. She proves herself every bit as tough and tender, as Jennifer Lawrence’s work in The Hunger Games.

Because of the adolescent heros, the anti-authority angle, and the theme involving teen angst, the film will undoubtedly appeal to the demographic that it is so obviously aimed at. Adult viewers may find it too minor and slightly disturbing. After a gripping first hour the film briefly flirts with preposterousness, and events feel tounge-in cheek. Beattie who had previously penned the Tom Cruise thriller Collateral, does a good job of rebounding the narrative. The screenplay is very well written and particularly deft at avoiding cliches. I can almost guarantee readers, that the Red Dawn reboot will pale in comparison. Tomorrow, When the War Began is the biggest surprise of the year.

Director: Stuart Beattie
Stars: Caitlin Stasey, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Lincoln Lewis

2 thoughts on “Tomorrow, When the War Began (2010) – Review

  1. Its suppose to be like red dawn. Its pretty bad in my opinion though. I admit, not giving it a chance but i couldnt make it through the first 20 minutes before I turned it off.

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