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Mike Wilder brings you movie reviews. Each week a Selection of reviews for new releases and older films plus movie comparisons.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Review of Tomorrow: When the War Began (2010) by Mike

Title: Tomorrow: When the War Began (2010)

Original UK Release Date: 8th April 2011

Original US Release Date: 24th February 2012

UK Rating: 12

US Rating: R

Director: Stuart Beattie

Genre: Action

Plot: When a group of friends return from a camping trip they discover that their country has been invaded by foreign forces. They decide to remain in hiding and fight back.

Mike's Review

Back in 1984, a film came out called Red Dawn. It depicted the results of an invasion of America by Russian forces and the affects of the invasion on a group of school friends who hide out and fight back against the invading army. This film is a classic with an amazing cast of up and coming young actors. My review of it is here.

I saw the trailer for Tomorrow: When the War Began (2010) and my first thought was that it was ripping off Red Dawn (1984). But the trailer hooked me. It looked good and I decided to give it a go.

The film is set in a small town in Australia and starts off with a group of friends going off on a camping trip. During the trip they notice an unusual amount of aircraft flying over head. After the trip is over they return to their homes to find the all the electricity and phone lines are not working and all the people are missing. It soon becomes apparent that the town has been overrun with foreign military forces and all the residents are now being held captive. The friends decide to disrupt the invasion as best they can.

The film is based on a series of books written by Australian author John Marsden, and this is based on the first one of seven.

            The cast is pretty much unknown outside of Australia. It includes Caitlin Stasey, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Lincoln Lewis, Deniz Akdeniz, Phoebe Tonkin, Chris Pang, Ashleigh Cummings & Andrew Ryan. They are all really good in this and after seeing the film I read all the books in the series and the attention to the casting of the characters fits well with their counterparts in the novels. It was hard to find one stand out performance in this as all do a great job with their respective roles. I don’t often like to choose the main leads in the film as they should have been cast as the lead for a reason. However in a cast of relative unknowns, Caitlin Stasey as Ellie Linton clearly stands out as the lead in the film. She is definitely one to watch and Hollywood success shouldn’t be far behind.

            The setting in Australia is good with great use of locations and scenery. Once again attention has been made to the feel of the film in comparison to the novel and it is perfect. The clever use of a nondescript country avoids alienating any nation.

            The story may be similar to Red Dawn (1984), but it is different enough to be judged on its own merits, it is very well made and really enjoyable. The release of the movie in America over 16 months after the release in Australia and nearly a year after its release in the UK has probably harmed the film in respect of its takings and overall exposure of it. The film is exceptionally well made and would put many Hollywood blockbusters to shame.

9 out of 10

Additional Information

Stand out performance: Caitlin Stasey as Ellie Linto


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