2010s Tomorrow, When the War Began (2010)

Published on October 31st, 2012 | by Chris


Tomorrow, When the War Began (2010)

Movie directed by :
Stuart Beattie

Reviewed by:
On October 31, 2012
Last modified:November 1, 2012


Red Dawn remade for Australia, only they do a much better, saner job of it.

Tomorrow, When the War Began (2010)Let's just get this out of the way immediately, shall we?  "Red Dawn Down Under."  There, I said it.  Happy?  Good.  Now, then.

Tomorrow, When the War Began should draw an immediate parallel to the 1984 (and 2012) film(s) Red Dawn.  Because essentially it is that story, only from an Australian point of view.  Here's the thing, I sort of panned the original Red Dawn, because 25+ years later it is pretty cheesy, remember?  Well, I actually liked this version.  Maybe it was the lack of American-style "Gung ho" and "U-S-A!" chanting in it, but this time around it didn't seem nearly as far fetched.

A group of Australian teenagers take an extended camping trip into the outback, led by Ellie (Caitlin Stasey) and Corrie (Rachel Hurd Wood), they bring along some boyfriend types, and a couple of additional girlfriends to balance the equation (at the behest of their parents, of course!)....   While they're away being more-or-less innocent teenager types, Australia is invaded by an un-named Asian "Alliance."   If it was stated who was actually behind it, I must have missed it.  I think the "no-name" aspect of this actually lends it a little bit of credence, because if you were to name off any country it would immediately become a hotbed of controversy....   tangent!

They discover their families have all been taken hostage in the local village, in a scene that was almost directly pulled from Red Dawn.  They escape, and instead of taking up arms for the cause immediately, find themselves in more-or-less a survival situation.  Trying not to be captured and killed, but eventually they are forced into it, when they realize they can't run forever.  I liked this twist on it.  Instead of "invaders! zomg attack!" it came across as much more organic and not nearly as forced.  Also, the lack of a "Darth Vader" figure (like both Red Dawns) made the story about the group of kids, and their struggle.  Not devolved into an us-vs-them type of deal.

Speaking of which, I found these relationships to be fairly accurate, if you're a teenager type.  Not too deep, really.  Sorry under-twenties, but that's how I saw it.  They managed to inject a fair amount of relationship into these characters without going the extra mile and turning into a soap-opera wrapped in an action movie.  More kudos, there.  Even more for keeping it "tasteful" with a minimum of uber-bloody-violence, and no nudity that I can recall.   Maybe a byproduct of the Australian source (no clue, here, maybe someone can fill me in on the ratings system...)  Still a fair bit of language, but you almost can't escape that these days.

If there was a major flaw, it was some of the sequences were obviously (and I mean obviously) constructed to take advantage of the whole "3D" craze.  Seen on a 2-D screen, you just had to go, "yeah, OK!"  Especially the ending.  No spoilers, here, though.  With the exception of one scene (a garbage truck, really? and turn off those flashers!!!) I didn't find any of the situations they got themselves into to be unrealistic, for a movie like this of course.

The final scene left itself wide open for a sequel, and it looks like there may be not one, but TWO already in the works.  If they're able to stick with this formula, and not turn it into just another dim witted action movie franchise then more power to them.  I saw this via Netflix streaming, so get it while you can, or get Tomorrow, When the War Began on disc, or even iTunes.  But I have to say, as cheesy as the premise sounds, Red Dawn-clone and all, I actually liked this one a a lot.

Tomorrow When the War BeganBuy from Amazon.com

Tomorrow, When the War Began (2010) Chris

Summary: Red Dawn remade for Australia, only they do a much better, saner job of it.


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About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.

3 Responses to Tomorrow, When the War Began (2010)

  1. Pingback: Red Dawn (2012) Review | War Movies

  2. Fowl says:

    the movie is created from a book series by John Marsden called Tomorrow there are 7 books total in the series

  3. the war movie buff says:

    Thanks for the recommendation. Sounds like a good time waster. The Australians make some good movies

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