Monday, December 3, 2012

Red Dawn Review

Red Dawn Review

Director: Dan Bradley

Cast Headliners: Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson

Release Date: November 21, 2012

Red Dawn is an example of a movie which doesn’t know what it wants. This is a reboot of the 1984 Patrick Swayze starring original. Like that film, the theme of this is that the foreign communist power of the day is invading. For the eighties, it was the Soviets. Now it will supposedly be the North Koreans as this movie proclaims.  
As in the original, the two protagonists are brothers Jed (Chris Hemsworth) and Matt (Josh Peck).  Jed is an ex-military, tactical and cold guy. Matt is the high school quarterback willing to take risks. They are the main characters of Red Dawn, and they are also the only actors with merit. Every person who joins their guerilla unit the Wolverines is un-remarkable. Little chance is given to see their characters and enjoy them. Josh Hutcherson’s character Robert is supposed to be “funny”, but the only slight chuckle is from him awkward and dweebish when fighting enemies. The brothers are decent as young men facing their homeland being invaded, but the movie lacks soul.
The movie lacks soul because it is not very entertaining. Unlike the old film, the North Koreans are not a scary presence. The main villain is rarely seen, and when he is all that happens is him shouting orders. Little is shown of North Korean killing people. The Soviets in the original were terrifying as the shot down anyone in their way, for example in the opening paratrooper scene. The same scene happens here, but the CGI effects do not impress and are a bit laughable. Most everything about this film feels half baked, and both action sequences and dialogue drag on. As a side note, why isn’t the US army seen fighting the attackers? An explanation is given later, but it is still hard to suspend one’s disbelief.
The only slight redeeming factors of this movie are some of the shootout sequences, they are quite cool. Some fancy explosions are used which luckily make up for the poor CGI everywhere else.  Hemsworth, usually a good actor, is not enough to save this film.  There are worse movies out there, but Red Dawn is a supreme example of mediocrity. More excitement can be gained from playing a video game like Call of Duty which this movie attempts to, but fails to cash in on.      I give it 6 out of 10

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