“Wolverriiiiinnnnnneeeees!!!!!” - me and my buddy Pat about 10,000 times over the last eighteen years of our friendship.
The original Red Dawn is a fan favorite around this Rotten house and still holds up today because, at its core, the film is a fairly simple story about rebellion and camaraderie. And while its set against the backdrop of a Cold War-induced WWII, the movie never really cares about the larger conflict; it doesn’t need to. The Red Dawn world was insular (no cell phones helps there) and instead focused solely on a group of not-so-merry men and women going guerilla all over Colonel Bella’s Red Army. In the early Eighties this kind of thing was farfetched but just believable enough for some traction.
Which is part of the reason this remake looks fairly terrible. Our world, especially America, is anything but insular and we are fully connected. It’s very difficult to imagine, in our current climate, another country (especially North freaking Korea) making landfall in the USA with even a prospect of succeeding in a ground war (not with Chaz Heston and friends supplementing what our own military would bring in terms of firepower). Maybe our collective ignorance and comfort will be our downfall, but the premise here seems flimsy.
But that’s not the only reason this flick probably stinks. It’s been sitting on the back burner forever with a pushed back release, (money), another delay (China can’t be the bad guy!) and that kind of stuff rarely happens to a good movie.
Like the original, Red Dawn employs the use of relatively unknown/ up and coming actors and actresses. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) all the major players have already gone on to bigger and better things. Think about it; when this thing was filming Chris Hemsworth hadn’t been in Thor, Josh Hutcherson’s never even heard of Peeta and Adrianne Palicki was still playing Tyra on Friday Night Lights. This thing’s old. Stunt coordinator-turned-director Dan Bradley helms his first movie and few have gotten off on a worse foot. Early reviews have it stinking. I’m just going to ignore it and stick with the original. The Rotten Watch for Red Dawn is