Directed by DAN BRADLEY
Starring CHRIS HEMSWORTH, JOSH HUTCHERSON,
ADRIANE PALICKI, and JEFFREY DEAN MORGAN
Thanksgiving. A time of turkey, football, and long movie lines. Everyone (except the poor movie theater workers) has a few days off. So after you eat with your family and friends, what else is there to do? After all, some of us don't want to spend too much time with our family.
Just make sure that when you go to the theater next week you don't haplessly wander into the 'Red Dawn' remake, which I just saw last night. The movie hits theaters just in time for turkey day and will no doubt appeal to those nostalgic for the original 1984 film with Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, and (a non-drug addicted) Charlie Sheen. But don't be taken in by such things because as much as you love Chris Hemsworth, even he can't save this dog-faced film.
'Red Dawn' is currently rated 33% on Rotten Tomatoes and although I don't agree with some reviews on Rotten Tomatoes (I didn't agree with 'Battle L.A.'), I do agree with the consensus on the 'Red Dawn' remake.
"Unless you're looking for a dumbed down popcorn movie during the holidays, don't bother with this one."
|'Red Dawn' 2012|
"The original film had one thing the remake doesn't, heart."In the original film, one could tell the passage of time and the evolution of the characters. I'll never forget when Jed (Patrick Swayze, now played by Hemsworth) told sensitive Robert (C. Thomas Howell, now played Josh Hutcherson) to turn his deep pain into "something else," meaning anger. C. Thomas Howell's character subsequently evolved into something vicious and scary. The original film dealt with big questions, like what happens to people, especially young people, in war. The wolverines in the original film not only dealt with the death of their companions, but the death of their enemies. No such questions are asked in the remake. The original film had one thing the remake doesn't, heart.
The remake lacks any semblance of emotion or even a touch of reality. In the original film, the Soviets invaded America. During the Cold War, which extended into the early 1980s, this fear was palpable. I remember being in grammar school in the early 1980's. We had drills to "prepare" us for the possibility of a nuclear strike from the USSR. Although hiding under a grade school desks would not likely save us from anything, it illustrates that there used to be "real" fear in this country of such a possibility. Movies like 'Red Dawn' and 'The Day After' played on that fear well. To the younger folk out there, 'The Day After' is not a Roland Emmerich film. 'The Day After' was a 1980's television movie about the possibility of a nuclear annihilation.
|'Red Dawn' 1984|
Finally, there is the matter of resemblance. In this movie, giant blond Australian Chris Hemsworth is the big brother to a 5'2" feisty dark haired kid from New York. The only thing they have in common is teen angst and the desire to blow stuff up. Ok just go with it, but at least give me a decent storyline. So unless you're looking for a dumbed down popcorn movie during the holidays, don't bother with this one. First time stuntman turned director, Dan Bradley, should stick with his day job.
ONE - 1/2 OUT OF FIVE STARS