Tomorrow, When The War Began


The kids are all fight.

Tomorrow, When The War Began review

Given globalisation’s inexorable march, the idea of an invading army creeping across a neighbouring country’s border in the night seems like some Cold War throwback.

But that’s the premise we’re asked to swallow in this clumsily titled Aussie Red Dawn redux based on the first of a series of risible but popular teen novels by John Marsden.

A group of photogenic kids from a fictional small town named Wirrawee head off to the Outback for a week of camping. Naturally, each fits a specific pigeonhole: the innocent, the bad boy, the religious one, etc.

During their excursion, they see unfamiliar military planes overhead and when they return home, the entire neighbourhood has been taken over by some nefarious but unknown Asian army.

If the kids ever want to see their parents again, they’ll have to beat the baddies. How? Well, among other things, with exploding lawnmowers…

The directorial debut of Stuart Beattie (whose screenwriting credits include the Pirates movies and Australia), this is an impressive-looking film, but unfortunately, handsome production design is its main asset.

Every character is a stereotype, every line cringe-worthy and every plot twist goofier and more preposterous than the last.

T,WTWB was Australia’s highest-grossing domestic movie of 2010; sequels have already been green-lit, but the jury’s still out whether this will succeed elsewhere. One thing’s for sure, kitsch lovers are in for a treat.


If teens battling soldiers sounds like your cup of tea, drink deep. If not, stick with Red Dawn.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • Garth123

      Apr 1st 2011, 0:26

      Whatever the film might be, I'd hardy call the source material (the books) risible considering the number of awards they have won ( and acclaim they received on publication. They've been a staple of the Australian school curriculum for well over a decade, which must mean they have some merit.

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    • therealeverton

      Apr 1st 2011, 21:04

      Apart from the fact that the novels are pretty well regarded, you seem to imply that Red Dawn doesn't have teens battling soldiers? If nothing else this can't be any worse than the preposterous Red Dawn.

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