'Tomorrow, When The War Began' is as much a coming-of-age story as it is a tale of guerrilla fighters. A group of rural teenagers venture into the Australian outback for a holiday, only to return to discover their families have vanished and their homes are deserted. It soon becomes apparent that their country has been attacked and invaded.
The Tomorrow novels have been an enormous hit in their native Australia but remain something of an acquired taste here in the UK. The series began in the mid 90s and went on to spawn ten books, but despite their popularity (and perhaps because of the scope of their material) they’ve resisted big screen adaptation until now.
The exactly identity of the invaders remains unsaid, as do many other details of this sudden war, but this is largely irrelevant as both the film and the books want to focus on character development, on coping with loss and adversity. The film of 'Tomorrow...' almost manages to balance its character development with its action, but it’s a far better vehicle for the latter.
This is a good film with a solid cast, but with only 90 minutes to be shared between eight principle actors, there isn’t enough time or space for them to mature or develop and instead they remain somewhat stunted, even clichéd characters. The film is much more successful at maintaining a sense of tension and pace, as it gradually becomes apparent that the world that these teenagers once knew has transformed, in a matter of days, into something dangerous and almost alien.
But it’s all over a little too soon and many viewers will be left wanting. While this is perhaps the point, as the sequels are well on their way, it’s really a missed opportunity and 'Tomorrow...' could have (and should have) taken a little more time to make the most of its cast and its concept.
There are profiles of each of the main characters and the usual behind-the-scenes tomfoolery, as well as a description of what it’s really like to blow things up. None of this is quite as interesting as it could be and it’s easy to feel that these are more of an indulgence for the film crew, rather than an extra for the viewers.
- Character profiles
- Making of
- Additional behind the scenes footage/documentary
- Alternate ending
'Tomorrow, When The War Began' will be released this Monday. Pre-order at Amazon.co.uk.