Red Dawn Reviews
"Welcome to the Home of the Brave"
Red Dawn is a truly an unnecessary remake of a movie that was terrible to begin with. With that being said I'll give this a little praise, but not much, for being better than I thought possible. In fact, in my opinion it is better then the original, but that's not really saying a whole hell of a lot. It has many of the same problems, terrible dialogue, awful acting and such, but it flows better and is a lot more entertaining.
Same story basically as the original, except updating it to the 21st century and making the bad guys that invade the home town of the Wolverines, North Korean instead of Russian. Although the Russians are still in the picture on the east coast. A group of students led by a marine escape capture by the North Koreans and end up going to war against them in order to try to save their town and their country.
This really isn't worth the watch, especially if you've seen the original, but it isn't the complete piece of shit I thought it was going to be. Overall, it has entertaining aspects to it, but the annoying elements destroy it just like with the original Red Dawn.
Good movie! Overall, I really enjoyed this movie actually, despite what others say. I think many people were probably expecting something else and had high hopes and felt disappointed, but if you watch this movie without reading any reviews first or criticism, you may be entertained!
In the opening shots, there is a montage of news reports and politicians speeches about North Korea, interlaid with the opening credits and finally, the title of the movie itself appears on the screen.
Spokane, Washington. There is a high school football game where Matt Eckert's (Josh Peck) team loses because he gets cocky and keeps trying to run the ball in, even though he should be making more passes as the quarterback, like the coach tells him to.
After the game, he gets picked up by his girlfriend, Erica (Isabel Lucas), who's one of the cheerleaders in the school, and they go off to a party that night. At the party, the power suddenly goes out, but not knowing the circumstances of it, the teenagers continue to party, cheering loudly.
Back at the Eckert house, Tom (Brett Cullen) tells his returned son Jed (Chris Hemsworth) that he can't find the extra mattress, to which Jed replies that he could simply sleep on the couch. Matt arrives home and asks his dad whether he saw the game, to which he proudly replies that the team is lucky to have him regardless of the outcome. Tom is a police officer within Spokane and he needs to leave in order to investigate the power outage. Matt walks up the porch, sees Jed, and walks into the house without saying a word to him.
The next morning, Matt and Jed wake up to the rumbling sounds around them. Items around their house start to fall over, and they run outside to find out whats going on. They look up and see dozens of large aircraft with soldiers parachuting from them. One plane gets shot down by a ground-to-air missile and crashes into a nearby house.
The brothers get into their pickup truck and drive off to find their dad, who meets them along the way as he was driving towards them as well to regroup. They follow him towards the direction of the town outskirts as a descending paratrooper fires at them, but the Eckerts manage to run him over. Tom tells his sons to drive away to their cabin in the mountains for safety as he stays behind to help the rest of the townspeople. Reluctant at first, they soon comply and speed off.
We get our first detailed glimpses of the invading troops and realize they are North Koreans as they wear the symbol of the North Korean military. The Eckert brothers are pursued by other North Korean military vehicles that spot them as they try to save Erica before she is captured, but it is too late. Reversing direction, they manage to pick up a few more people, including schoolmates Robert (Josh Hutcherson) and Daryl (Connor Cruise), as some other escapees follow them in another car. They get to the cabin and try to compile as many supplies as they can. At night, they see a vehicle driving by, and Jed takes point with a rifle in case its a hostile. It turns out to be a non-military vehicle, but Pete (Steve Lenz) fires a wild shot at it with a handgun he found earlier, almost hitting Jed in the process. Jed orders him to hand the weapon over, but Pete refuses, so Jed takes it by force.
The following morning, they find out Pete left with all their food, so they gather what they can and leave the cabin. They scout around, but hear some sounds and see that a North Korean officer named Captain Cho (Will Yun Lee) is at their cabin with some soldiers and uses Tom and Daryl's fathers as bait to draw them out from the woods. Pete had betrayed them and gave away their location. Although Daryl's father is more compliant, Tom tells his sons through the megaphone to kill the bastard, pointing at Cho, and is shot by him as the soldiers burn down the cabin.
After a moment of mourning, Jed gives a speech about how this is their home, and the group decides to sow chaos among the invaders with guerrilla tactics, and learn how to operate the various weapons they could gather.
On their first raid, Toni (Adrianne Palicki) is sent as bait. She approaches a checkpoint and suddenly turns to run away, prompting several soldiers to chase her around a corner where she immediately ducks as the rest of the group rise from their cover and shoot down the soldiers. They then strip all their weapons and gear to take with them back to their new makeshift base in the woods.
Over the course of the next few days, they cause more chaos among the invaders by using stolen C4 and other explosives to blow up various military checkpoints, and outright shooting down other ground soldiers from rooftops with their captured small arms. They exclaim themselves to be the Wolverines, based on their school mascot, and the word spreads, causing others to rise up against their invaders.
At one outdoor public gathering where North Korean officials are speaking to the remaining people of the town, along with collaborators (Americans who have chosen to work with the invaders to spare their own lives) and a few allied Chinese and Russian military personnel, the Wolverines are preparing to take them out with live fire and explosives. However, Matt sees Erica, who is a prisoner at this point, being transported away in a school bus and sets off the explosions early. He is able to free her, and they escape within the chaos, but one of the other Wolverines is gunned down.
Jed is angry at Matt for disobeying and risking all their lives. Matt runs off, but after a few days, Jed goes to have a brotherly talk with Matt, where Matt accuses Jed of disappearing for six years when their mother died, leaving him and his father who too out his frustration by physically beating Matt. Jed admits he was wrong to do so since he was emotionally lost and needed to find himself, but that he needs him now, and they eventually reconcile and return to the group.
Meanwhile in Spokane, a high-ranking North Korean military officer barges into Cho's office, furious at him for being unable to stop the Wolverines, but Cho says he has a plan.
As the Wolverines rest up in their hideout, their shelter is suddenly destroyed when enemy jets bomb a large area of the woods. Two more are killed, and they go on the run. Only Matt, Jed, Toni, Erica, Robert, and Daryl are left. In the woods, they meet three American military personnel, led by Tanner (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who coincidentally have been looking for the Wolverines.
Over a campfire, they realize that both groups had independently come up with the conclusion that the briefcase that Cho always carries with him is crucial to the invaders and must be captured. They go ahead with a raid on the local police station which the enemy personnel within the district have utilized as their base and manage to take down many of the soldiers. As Daryl is running away, he is caught and stabbed by some enemy Russian associates, but manages to escape. Meanwhile, Jed fights Cho, and they eventually end up in his fathers office inside the station. Cho gets the upper hand as Jed ducks under his father's desk, but he pulls out a gun from a hidden compartment to shoot Cho in the legs, causing him to collapse. Jed then finishes off Cho. Matt manages to retrieve the dropped briefcase from a fallen soldier, and he rejoins Jed to make a run for it.
They get away and hide out in a broken down house somewhere for shelter. Jed is proud of Matt, stating that he was never good at giving props to his brother, but that he deserved it this time. He gives his brother a beer, to which Matt replies it would be his first one, and they laugh. Jed then gets up to walk over to Toni, who is smiling at him in the hallway with another beer in hand, when he is suddenly shot and killed. The invaders had found their location and begin firing upon them. Matt yells for everyone to get out, and they manage to do so, getting into a car and speeding off.
They stop briefly in the woods to rethink their situation, and figure out that the enemy soldiers were able to find them because of a tracking device that has been embedded in Daryl's side. During the earlier battle, the Russians had actually embedded a tracker into him and allowed him to escape so that he would lead them straight to the rest of the group. Knowing it can't be removed, Daryl decides to stay behind with only a rifle as the others drive off.
The next scene shows other American military personnel and the four remaining Wolverines in a field as they load the briefcase onto a helicopter and prepare to take off. Tanner offers the surviving Wolverines the chance to go with them, away from the battle zone, but Matt refuses. The Wolverines decide to stay.
The final scene shows Matt atop a car, giving the same speech his brother gave to them near the beginning to more individuals wanting to fight against the invaders. That night, they storm the detention center where the invaders are keeping prisoners. The Wolverines attack with heavily armed jeeps and vehicles as people start shouting the name, and the last shot shows many of the resistance running forward with an American flag fluttering in the wind among them.
Unfortunately remaking the original film was utterly pointless, completely and totally a waste of time, its as if a bunch of people just had nothing much to do and HAD to remake something. So they just thought 'yeah we'll just remake 'Red Dawn', we can blow lots of shit up in that'.
Of course the film looks very nice, all the action is solid with fancy modern movie magic, big ass guns, natty outfits and what all modern films love doing, yep you guessed it...blowing the bollocks outta anything they can. Earth splintering explosions that will light up your TV screen, the powers that be think that somehow this makes everything OK, fiery death.
So slick looks aside what else? well there is some emotion in here, not much, not as much actual believeable emotion as the original. The reason for that is because the acting is terrible and the scenes of character building, emotional grief, heartbreak, sacrifice, courage etc...have been cut right down in this new film. Like I say there is some emotion but nothing that will actually make you feel for the characters, the original had my eyes watering up in places I kid you not, this didn't come close, I kid you not.
The whole story also seems very rushed, a quick montage of training and the youngsters are fully up to speed on most combat scenarios, fighting and weapons. Its then not long before they are taking out soldiers, vehicles, buildings etc...without blinking, amusing how trained military are so easily taken out by teenagers, but that was the same in the original too I guess.
The other crucial point is they have actually changed some of the story, yes they actually used their imagination. This I can accept because it makes the film more interesting and not just a scene for scene copy. Thing is the odd changes are worse, one major scene in particular involving one team member is completely ruined because they altered the heavy emotional decision and sacrifice involved at that moment, its lost! gone! replaced with nothing. The teens meet more marines this time who come across as badass ('a marine and his rifle, the baddest shit kicker weapon in the world'. Seriously? yes it is this corny.) yet the teens run rings around them and virtually show them what to do! eh?. Also, where did they all get those nice clean camouflage outfits from for the final attack??.
As I said in my review for the original, it was a film of its time, especially with the political climate at the time and all the cold war paranoia. This film doesn't really work now because the whole idea is unrealistic, politics aren't the same, everyone knows the US can't be invaded (?) and surely it might have worked better being set against the Taliban/Middle East?. Back in the day against Russia who knew, they were/are a big ass country with a big ass military power.
The film is devoid of any real gut wrenching heartbreak or tension and you know what's gonna happen. All new changes to the story just don't work and lessen the effect hugely, especially for the ending, what was the point in making this really?. Hell even the films poster is uninspiring and drab and where the hell did that chopper come from right at the end ?!.
Follow me on Twitter @moviesmarkus
Following 2010's 'Tomorrow, When the War Began', which relocated the story to Australia, we get another remake of 1984's 'Red Dawn'. The original John Milius version was one of those eighties movies I ate up as a kid growing up in that decade. With Reagan and Gorbachev constantly bickering on the news, us children of the eighties thought of Russia as the epitome of pure evil and so the plot of Milius' film rang true for us. We genuinely lived in fear of being nuked by Russkies who would then invade us with tanks and growling bears on chains. I very much doubt that today's kids even know what continent North Korea belongs to, never mind live in fear of its nuclear capability.
This renders the remake laughable. The idea that any nation could muster the resources to invade the U.S today is ridiculous but, despite this, Bradley plays his movie completely straight. The plot follows pretty much every mark from the original but without an ounce of the innocent charm that movie had. If ever a remake should have opted for a satirical take, ala 'The Brady Bunch Movie' or '21 Jump Street', it's this one.
Red Dawn is about a group of teenagers trying to save their town from an invasion of North Korean (and somewhat Russia, again) soldiers. The plot itself lacks logic and pacing to flesh out characters. Like the original, our heroes are not developed nor will you care for them. This remake benefits from mostly by being a short simple dumb action movie and does it well. It does unfortunately follow the original a bit to much making it predictable for anyone who seen the original Red Dawn. The original Red Dawn over stayed it welcome for nearly a two hour movie it fails to change political views. The remake avoids sending any kind of commentary about war itself. The pacing is very frantic making never allowing time for the plot or develop or properly explain everything. It just moves from one plot point to another very quickly diminishing any kind thrills you might have. The writers, however, felt it was more important to include a Subway product placement instead of developing characters. This remake contains plenty of action scenes. The action scenes are very standard here and is where most of the budget seem to have gone to. The ending is rushed and does not tie up all lose ends. Red Dawn (2012) is a typical dumb action movie that never once tries to shove its ideals down your throat and instead puts it effort in entertaining the audiences never forgetting what it is.
I will address you should be very afraid of this fictional America in Red Dawn (2012) as we have Chris "Thor" Hemsworth, Josh Peck, and Josh Hutcherson saving us. Chris Hemsworth is the best actor in the film; he's the only ones that has you sold on his character. Josh Peck on the other hand lacks charisma making us want to root for him. Josh Peck is simply not action hero material and tries a bit to hard to look tough guarantee to make you laugh. Though to Josh Peck defense he does try unlike Hutcherson. Hutcherson presence in the film is pointless; he simply a forgettable here and bland acting does not help matter any more. Female leads Isabel Lucas and Adrianne Palicki are simply in the movie to look pretty. The female lead acting is good, but lack screen time. In spite of it many negative problems I have stated it was fun. It was fast paced, action packed, a simple story to follow, it's short never staying its welcome, and most of all remembers to be a movie.
Red Dawn is a watchable dumb action movie and much enjoyable than the original. The original got caught in sending a message it forgot to be a movie first and to over long becoming tiresome. The remake is not good film making by any means and lacks substantial improvements, but keeping things short, simple, with plenty of action makes this a superior film over the original.
The story follows a group of teenagers as their town is invaded by the North Korean army. Instead of running away, they decide to train and fight the enemy so they can take back their city.
The plot is extremely simple which wouldn't be a big deal as long as they had some likable heroes, but sadly I didn't remember any character from this movie. This movie starts the action within the first 8 minutes of the film, so there really isn't a lot of time for some good character development. We see these two brothers angry at each other because the older brother went off to war for a few years after their mother died, and they just treat each other like crap. The younger brother is just mad about his girlfriend being stolen, and the rest of the characters are just laughably uncharismatic. I think when writing this script they just didn't give any thoughts about it, they just worked on it for a few hours and then started filming. I completely forgot the story and characters, because as we watch the movie none of it matters and nobody cares what's going on. I mean how long did it take the Koreans to actually take over the town? How did a group of high schoolers actually learn how to take down an army? There are just so many ridiculous questions that this movie makes us ask and by the time it ends we don't even care anymore because it was all just a waste of time. I have already forgotten about this movie, and it just shows that most remakes are nothing but trouble.
The cast includes a group of a lot of young actors, many actors I actually enjoy, but here they didn't show the charisma that makes them fun. Chris Hemsworth is a powerful and cool actor, but he can do a lot better than films like this. He has shown me that he is a good actor; I hope he doesn't ruin it by being in forgettable and cheesy action films like this. Josh Peck has not been around much since that old Nickelodeon show he was on (which I loved) and so I wondered how he would do in this movie. Maybe he has some role waiting out there for him, but it wasn't in this movie. He was just unlikeable and bored me, and I couldn't take him seriously. Josh Hutcherson probably gives the worst performance in the film, and just seeing him scream "Wolverines!" got me annoyed. He may be a decent actor, but this character wasn't right for him. Adrianne Palicki wasn't even noticeable in this film, and you won't remember her no matter how hard you try. This movie is filled with a bunch of forgettable performances, so don't expect to enjoy the performances this film has to offer.
Red Dawn was pretty much a group of teenagers running around with guns taking out the Korean army, and that was all it was. The director Dan Bradley is a first time director, and I guess that explains many reasons why this is a sloppy film. I can see him having a future in action films, but he really didn't do anything to make this movie fun. You see a lot of romances in this film, and it just made me laugh how there is a war happening and these teens are worrying about their love life. I could make a long list of reasons why this movie was ridiculous and didn't make any effort to be good, but that would take too long so I will just tell you right now that this movie is a waste of time. There are a lot of clichés in this movie, and soon this becomes one big predictable mess. I will take some pity on this film because they keep true to the original film, but this movie just seemed like it was all guns and explosions but no heart. Many people I know are probably going to love this movie, mainly because all they want is a lot of action and they don't care about anything else. Many people don't take movies as seriously as I do so they will just enjoy what they paid for but as for me, I need something a little better for my money. Red Dawn has enough action to please the casual movie watcher, but for me it was just a huge waste of my money and I was happy when it was over.