¨We´re not doing too bad for a bunch of kids. We´re gonna fight. We´re gonna keep fighting cause it´s easier now and we´re used to it.¨
I agree that this was a totally unnecessary remake and that the plot is beyond ridiculous, but I still had a decent time with Red Dawn as long as I didn’t try to think too much about the unbelievable scenario. The real reason why this movie failed is because they took the ridiculous plot way too seriously when they should have played with the concept a little. A much lighter and playful approach would have made this film work. I really don’t understand why the producers thought a remake like this would be a good idea considering the original film wasn’t all that great either. I think it´s about time the film industry begins taking bigger risks instead of recycling the same material over and over again and only adding new faces and better visual effects. This version of Red Dawn was directed by Dan Bradley who is known mostly for his work as a stunt coordinator in big budget films like the Spider Man and Bourne franchises. This was his directorial debut and of course it has several flaws and a rather terrible and unsatisfying ending, but it still managed to maintain my interest throughout most of the film. It was adapted from Kevin Reynolds´s story of the 1984 film by Carl Ellsworth (Disturbia and Red Eye) and Jeremy Passmore, but their script wasn´t much brighter. I think that if the film didn’t take itself so seriously and played more with the ridiculousness of it all then it could have been much better. It never ended up embracing the absurdity of it all.
The original Red Dawn dealt with the invasion of Soviets, but since we are in different times this time the enemy is North Korea. The story is very fictional and you have to be very imaginative in order to go along with the entire situation. The story takes place in a small American town in Washington while the local High school team has suffered a defeat under the leadership of its star quarterback, Matt Eckert (Josh Peck), while his father Tom (Brett Cullen) and older brother Jed (Chris Hemsworth) watch from the sidelines. Despite the loss, his girlfriend Erica (Isabel Lucas) manages to lift his spirit and they all go out to celebrate at the local bar until they are interrupted by a blackout. Everything changes the next morning when a swarm of North Korean soldiers come parachuting down several jet planes and begin taking everyone hostage. Jed, who has recently returned from his service in Iraq, manages to escape along with his brother and several other friends to the woods. Together they decide to fight back the invaders and disrupt their plans. The young kids form a revolutionary group and call themselves the Wolverines, like the school mascot. Josh Hutcherson, Adrianne Palicki, and Connor Cruise all form part of the rebellious group that is led by Jed. It is impossible for a group of young teenagers to take down such a big military force, but somehow they manage to create chaos and inspire the rest of the American citizens to fight back.
The film was shot in 2009 but due to some production problems it was finally released last year. I don’t think they should have gone with all that trouble because the outcome wasn’t really satisfying although the recent fame of Chris Hemsworth (Thor and The Avengers) and Josh Hutcherson (Hunger Games) may have helped the box office. Hutcherson who worked with Hemsworth´s brother, Liam, in The Hunger Games doesn’t really have an important role he. The true stars of the film are Chris and Josh Peck (from the Josh and Drake show) although there really wasn’t a strong performance in all the film. It´s hard to believe the actors when the script is pretty much unbelievable. The entire film feels like watching a couple of friends play Modern Warfare. The film could have worked better as a television miniseries or something like that, but as a two hour film everything felt way out of place. This is Friday Night Lights meets Pearl Harbor.