Monday, January 27, 2014

Tomorrow, When the War Began (2010)

Number Rolled: 51
Movie Name/Year: Tomorrow, When the War Began (2010)
Genre: Action & Adventure
Length: 103 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Stuart Beattie
Writer: John Marsden, Stuart Beattie
Actors: Caitlin Stasey, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Lincoln Lewis, Deniz Akdeniz, Phoebe Tonkin, Chris Pang, Ashleigh Cummings, Andrew Ryan, Colin Friels

Ellie and her best friend Corrie decide to take a trip to the bush for a weekend camping trip. While there, they experience some light hearted bonding with friends and a great chance to relax. When they get home, they find something is off. All their families are gone and soldiers are parading through the streets.

This movie was based on the first book of the “Tomorrow Series,” written by John Marsden. Since the book was published in Australia in 1993 (1995 in the US), I think it’s safe to say that the series was likely inspired by the 1984 version of “Red Dawn.” It’s easy to pick out the various parallels between the two, but it’s also easy to pick out the differences. Despite the R rating, it’s obvious that this version of the story is geared toward teens where “Red Dawn,” though it showcased teens, was geared more toward adults.

In “Tomorrow, When the War Began,” the script not only goes about putting the audience in the middle of World War III, but it gives a somewhat accurate portrayal of how teenagers would react on a psychological level; considering not only the trauma aspect, but the original caste, reputation and status of them and their families.

I do like “Red Dawn” better, but not by a lot. This movie felt honest, it had better graphics than I expected and I really enjoyed the script. Even though the characters were somewhat cookie cutter in their stereotypes, they also had depth and originality beneath it all.

This film was the highest grossing film in Australia the year it came out, but didn’t quite find any success overseas. To be honest, I would look to the reboot of “Red Dawn” for the answer to why. Although “Tomorrow, When the War Began” came out in Australia in 2010, it wasn’t set to come out in the U.S. until 2012 – the same year the reboot came out for “Red Dawn.” It was a case of bad timing by the production company and the director. A couple years earlier or later and this movie could have blown up. Coming out in the same year makes this movie feel like a poor attempt at a copy, which is a shame.

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 4.3/5
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 64%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 58%

Trust-the-Dice Score – 4.5/5

P.S. There are seven books in the “Tomorrow Series.” Those are: “Tomorrow, When the War Began,” “The Dead of the Night,” “The Third Day, the Frost,” “Darkness, Be My Friend,” “Burning for Revenge,” “The Night is for Hunting,” and “The Other Side of Dawn.” Unfortunately, due to the production company falling apart, according to Director Stuart Beattie, we will never see movie adaptations for the rest of the series.

Movie Trailer: 

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