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tomorrowwarbeganGreen lightAuthor John Marsden’s Australian invasion novel Tomorrow, When the War Began has been gobbled up like corn chips and adored by teens and young adults since it hit the shelves in the early 90’s.

The book generated record sales, six sequels, endless speculation about the nationality of the invaders (Marsden never named names) and now a slick big screen adaptation from Aussie writer/director Stuart Beattie, who has big budget bona fides as the writer of Michael Mann’s terrific one-night-from-hell LA thriller Collateral and a contributing scribe to Hollywood franchises such as the Pirates of the Caribbean series.

This marks Beattie’s first film as a director. There’s no doubt watching how his words have been shaped into showy multiplex movie’s has taught him some tricks of the trade over the years – particularly how to employ polished cinematography and maintain a cracking pace.

The story tracks a group of high school students from the small town of Wirrawee who go on a week-long camping trip to “Hell” – not the place with flames, pitchforks and Stan Zemanek but a beautiful remote location that looks like something straight out of a shampoo commercial.

Dozens of military planes fly over one night and when the young’uns return to town things have sure taken a turn for the worse: the dogs are dead, mum and dad are nowhere to be seen and the town is eerily silent. It’s been invaded by a foreign power, residents herded into a makeshift concentration camp. A couple of impromptu meeting later these (pimple free) pubescent peeps decide – natch – to grab some munitions and ta-ta take the power back. Continue reading “Tomorrow, When the War Began movie review: on track to become an Aussie classic”