MOVIES: Tomorrow When the War Began - The Australian Red Dawn


So I was browsing the movies at the local hajji shop here in Baghdad when I ran across an Australian flick called “Tomorrow When The War Began”. Considering the rather thin choices [it was a draw between that and another poorly dubbed Steven Seagal flick] I went ahead and snapped it up. Luckily it turned out to be a pretty damn good flick.

Tomorrow When the War Began is a pretty loyal big screen version of the immensely popular [in Australia] book of the same name written by John Marsden [it is actually a series of books]. The movie is basically a “foreign army invades” story told from the eyes of a group of teenagers.

Now you are probably thinking the same think I thought when I read the description, Red Dawn. And while there are many similarities between Tomorrow When the War Began and Red Dawn there are enough differences to make this still entertaining and worth watching.

The movie starts off with a group of teenagers going on a camping trip in the Australian Bush while unbeknownst to them [despite tons of military aircraft flying over them every night in the outback] a mysterious foreign military has began its invasion of Australia. When returning to town they discover that their families are missing and no one is to be found.

Eventually they realize an unnamed foreign army has launched a massive invasion of Australia and rounded all civilians up and placed them in concentration camps. At first they do the usual looking for their families and scavenging for food but eventually they are drawn into defending themselves against the black clad occupying soldiers.


After much debate they decide to take up a more offensive position and hash up a plan to attack a major supply route. I don’t want to ruin the movie for anyone here that has not seen it so I won’t go any further but that is the gist of it.

The ‘mysterious’ invading foreign army is never identified at all during the movie, that sort of stuff usually annoys me in movies but they were never named in the book either. The author felt that “who” it wasn’t really important because the story was about the group of teenagers and how they survive and change and not about the ‘who’s”. Because the filmmaker was being loyal to the author I let it slide but it still annoyed me a little.

It is pretty damn obvious to everyone but the blind it is the Red Chinese [or every Asian guy from Hamas] invading. Besides the gay ass ninja uniforms they are wearing the bad guys have some pretty cool dune buggies and play the part of an “evil” invading force without being stereotypically heartless.

The only time they mention a reason behind the invasion is a passing blurb about “the diminishing supply of the world’s natural resources” [sounds eerily familiar doesn’t it].

My favorite line in the movie is when one of the teenage kids says “We had done nothing to earn our freedom” when referring to their old lives and the guerilla war that now lay ahead of them.

Basically the flick starts off somewhat slow like a teenage coming of age movie for about the first 20 to 30 min and then heats up in the middle finishes off with a pretty dramatic open ended conclusion. To put it simply it is basically the first 1 and ½ acts in Red Dawn, with the sequels to follow sometime later this year.

If you liked Red Dawn [and we all know only Commies and Crossdressers don’t love that flick] then you will definitely enjoy Tomorrow When the War Began. After watching it I went ahead and picked up the whole book series and I am looking forward to the sequels.

8.99 Tomorrow, When the War Began (The Book):

Tomorrow, When the War Began (The Book)

21.34 Tomorrow, When the War Began (Blu Ray):

Tomorrow When the War Began [Blu-ray]


~James G Founder - Editor in Chief

James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long; he has traveled to over 50 countries chasing fortune and glory. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns, writing poorly written articles and Buying Way Too Many Movies at the Hajji Shop. James G. on FACEBOOK