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Red Dawn- review

“Red Dawn” (2012)
Directed by Dan Bradley
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Isabel Lucas, Josh Hutcherson
Running Time 114 Minutes, Rated PG-13
2 Mitch’s out of 5
Mitch Hansch/movieswithmitch.com

File 2012’s Red Dawn under remakes that nobody asked for and under super duper implausible.

The original 1984 Red Dawn capitalized on the Cold War paranoia telling a story of America being invaded by a Soviet Union/Cuban army, and a band of resistance-esque young  U.S. of A’ers that had the ‘apple pie’ guts to fight back.  Not considered by any means a good movie, it’s mostly known as the first film ever to receive a PG-13 rating that starred a young Patrick Swayze and introduced and even younger Charlie Sheen, but at least in 1984 what it did have going for it is that sort of fantastical drama for pro ‘die-commie’ audiences.

In Dan Bradley’s goofy redux he has substituted the Soviets with North Koreans.  We’re barraged with a propaganda heavily scare tactic intro of news video clippings of a bluntly demonized North Korea as our most imminent threat.  Really?  So the Taliban and the rest of our Middle East foes are standing behind Kim Jong-Il’s empire that he left to his sons?!  Despite all of that, this version never feels in the least possible, with the scenario of being fully invaded by another enemy country isn’t something that makes much sense.

In this Red Dawn, the town of Spokane, Washington is rudely awakened one morning with hundreds of North Korean planes dropping their soldiers onto our soil.  This invasion happens very quickly and isn’t even half-assed explained until 2/3’rds into the movie.  

The Eckert brothers quickly ascertain the situation.  Jed played strongly by Chris Hemsworth who was in this years earlier gem Cabin in the Woods, is the older Marine brother born to lead who’s on a short leave from Iraq, and his younger bro’ Matt is nauseatingly played by a whiny Josh Peck who needs to learn through the course of the film that it’s not all about him.  A group of other young freedom fighters join the Eckerts and become the Wolverines, making havoc for Captain Cho (Will Yun Lee) and his North Korean army.      

As for the Asian actors who portrayed the faceless enemy North Koreans, I feel bad for them.  Yeah, work is work, but these villains are nothing more than cookie cutter black and white foreign silhouettes there to do nothing more than to have you blindly wave your American flag against them.  I’d also like thank on behalf of Red Dawn, the american staples Rolling Rock, Dodge Ram, and Subway that commercially remind us where our loyalties should stand.  I’m not trying to sound unpatriotic, but I just don’t like being beaten over the head with a baseball playing blue jean wearing bald eagle.  

Director Dan Bradley fails to make this popcorn enough of an action flick or dramatically powerful enough as a war drama.  Red Dawn is nothing more than Breaking Red Dawn; a Twilight melodrama with criminally undeveloped characters moving from fire fight to fire fight that will go silently into November movie night.

“this” will go silently into November movie night.

Matthew 10:28 

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