As you can notice, this movie didn’t make the regular review section ending up in the random crappy mainstream movie section. I will go into reasons why a bit later because we have more important things to talk about first. First of all, one of the main reasons why I’m talking about it is to counter all the people who hate the movie just because of its premise. Is an all-out North Korean invasion such a distant possibility that any movie with that subject should be scorned? Granted, they did absolutely nothing to explain how all the Kim Jongs managed to destroy or paralyze defense and early warning systems. And then calmly parachute down.
The answer to this question, and many others, is money! Yes, the producers wanted those sweet, sweet Chinese box office yen, so they changed the antagonists to North Korean. Red Dawn is yet another movie in a long string of unsuccessful and unwarranted remakes of popular eighties movies. The original movie came out in 1984 and the attacking army consisted of Soviets, Chinese, and some Latin American states. So, this is the explanation behind the title of this movie, Red Dawn, because the communists are attacking! Of course, the US involvement in regime change around the world is monumental, as you can see.
I mean, the main premise of Red Dawn would make for a hilarious comedy, I have to agree with that. Moreover, that is precisely what almost happened here as the movie almost ended up in so bad that it’s a good section. They took themselves so seriously without offering any kind of realism to back up that decision. It’s like the anti-ninja section of the US Army in the 1985 masterpiece American Ninja. If, however, you want to see a movie about the Chinese invasion, I recommend Tomorrow, When the War Began. It’s not perfect but it’s much, much better than this one.
And now we have to talk about Josh Peck and his character AKA Double Trouble. Before you read the following lines please know that I’m just ranting and blowing off some steam. I don’t know the guy, I wish him all the best and we all have our highs and lows. However, both his character and Josh himself irritate me immensely. The last thing this movie needed was a whiney, money guy who looks like he’s forty while playing a teenager. In the original from 1984, his character was played by a young Charlie Sheen, and he was quite good for that classic cold war eighties flick.
The main reason behind casting Josh Peck is his hipster appearance. His face looks like he just ate a couple of lemons and is about to regret yesterday’s chili peppers. So, the studios thought that he was that sensitive guy that all girls dream about. A perfect addition to a group of teens who apparently can take out trained soldiers without any issues. If you think that you hate the actor, just wait ’till you see his character.
One scene was just too ridiculous, and I have to walk you through it. After the initial takeover of the USA, a small group of ragtag teenage renegades attacked the North Koreans with guerrilla tactics. Sadly they don’t have Che Guevara t-shirts, dreads, and skateboards. They decide to plant a bomb at some ceremony and the mission is going well so far. However, one of the teens sees his father in the line for execution. The leader of the attack, Jed Eckert asks the poor kid if he’s okay to go along with the mission and he nods. So, the kid is willing to let his father die for the greater good, which is quite an emotional moment.
At the same time, our hero Matt Eckert (Josh Peck), who happens to be the brother of the leader of the attack sees his girlfriend in some bus. She’s in no immediate danger and no one is going to kill her. Yet Matt decides to detonate the diversion charge early in order to try and rescue her. He abandons his post and assignment. And this is just one of the scenes I wanted to talk about. I won’t go into others because I will get too annoyed. So, no, Red Dawn 2012 edition is not a movie worth watching. It’s messy, unrealistic, poorly acted, and conceived.
And it smells of late-stage capitalism where studios are twisting the arms of the writers and directors in order to make more money. The only two redeeming points of the movie are the scenario where someone manages to invade America and gets away with it and the performances by Chris Hemsworth and almost all of the other actors. Chris is a perfect example of a guy who does his job very well, no matter what the movie is about and how his character is written, so we can expect a lot of him in the years to come…
If you want to see what means to force scenes and characters into emotional situations, without any regard for reality or believability this is a perfect example. The only way you can watch this movie is under the influence of something and with some friends to shit all over it. And when I say it, I mean a pirated copy, this isn’t worth a penny.
Director: Dan Bradley
Writers: Carl Ellsworth, Jeremy Passmore, Kevin Reynolds