Tomorrow, When the War Began Reviews
Our vivid, vast and high unique country envelops its inhabitants; both adults and children alike, in a wonderful sense of security. But what happens when that is taken away?
Hailed in 2000 by the American Literary Association as one of the top 100 books written for teenagers, Tomorrow When the War Began is the first in a series of seven novels by acclaimed Australian author John Marsden. Australia's first major action movie aimed at teenagers, the adaptation has taken creative liberties with some characters but effectively captures the books essence.
In the small coastal town of Wirawee, seven teenagers in an end of summer trip decide the let their hair down in true Aussies style; by camping. Exploring deep into the dense bush, the group discovers an idyllic remote location ripe for hunting, shelter and fun in affectionately named, Hell.
Naïve to the fact that their lives have been altered forever however, the teens return home to find their families missing, their animals perishing and all forms of communications cut-off.
Logically and systematically returning to each family home they find no answers, so the troop decides to investigate why only the local fair ground and hospital show any form of activity.
The realisation that Australia has been invaded by a foreign power hits only to hard when Ellie (Caitlin Stasey) witnesses cold-blooded murder through the fence of these makeshift concentration camps. Shocked she inadvertently exposes the group and they return to the safety of Hell.
After picking up another escapee; the clueless and careless, Chris (Andrew Ryan), the group bands together to make a plan action. Concluding they must put away childish notions and learn to fight, survive and attack the unknown enemy if they wish to outlast the war no-one knew was coming.
Screen writer Stuart Beattie (Australia, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End) embraces his directorial debut, casting first time motion picture actors Caitlin Stasey (Neighbours), Phoebe Tonkin (Packed to the Rafters) and Lincoln Lewis (Home and Away).
The film suffers slightly from a mismatched soundtrack, over acting and overt typecasting, but it is the first; with two sequels based the later books already in the pipelines hopeful a little bit more depth of character will be explored.
Such a familiar premise (i.e. Red Dawn 1984), Tomorrow When the War Began stands out mostly due to its location and simplicity. Rather than allowing the teens to instantly become self-confident warriors with no fear, it shows them as vulnerable children attempting to survive and rebel.
The cinematography is refreshing. Avoiding shaking camera, perplexing cuts and massively overdone action sequences, this movie embraces the smaller things, giving viewers time to absorb its content.
The Verdict: This long-awaited film will not only satisfy the memory of avid teen readers from the 90s, but also showcase Australia's young acting talent, writing talent, film making abilities and beautiful scenery.
Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 10/09/2010
conduced and played. The drastic action scenes are flawless and
stunning real. The diversity of characters give a rich perspective of
the experience purposed. It's not a movie just to sell, but a movie to
enjoy as art.
In a director's cut, will be more nice yet, with more
photograph exploration, and with more characters exposition. The young actors was awesome too, all girls are pretty. Surprised with Australian movie quality's!
I saw other movies of urban invasion, but now this is my preferred.