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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There are big, loud and dumb movies, and then there are movies like
'Red Dawn', which deserve to belong to a category in themselves for
being sheer stupidity magnified. The fact that this was in fact a
remake of a 1984 movie that starred the likes of Patrick Swayze, C.
Thomas Howell, Charlie Sheen and Jennifer Grey is no excuse for how
blatantly silly the premise is if you're looking to give it another
go, the least you can do is to try to make it better.
For those who have not heard of that John Milius picture, its essential conceit was how a ragtag group of teens become a formidable resistance force when their peaceful community is suddenly attacked by an occupying force. The Russians were the ones unfortunate enough to be vilified then not surprising given the lingering Cold War fears but writers Carl Ellsworth and Jeremy Passmore have made the North Koreans the invaders this time round, though any real world relevance the opening sequence of edited news footage might suggest the movie would have is quickly thrown out of the window barely ten minutes into the film.
After briefly introducing the audience to the pair of brothers the newly returned Iraq War veteran Jed Eckert (Chris Hemsworth) and his hot-headed younger brother Matt (Josh Peck) the North Koreans are literally dropped into the movie. Waking up the rumble of explosions, Jed and Matt are horrified to discover that the sky is dotted with North Korean bombers and scores of soldiers are parachuting into the town in a hostile takeover attempt. If it already sounds unconvincing as we are describing it to you, trust us when we tell you it looks even more ridiculous on screen.
Are we supposed to believe that within the span of one night, the North Koreans have suddenly made their way halfway across the globe to attack America? Are we supposed to believe that they could have come with all that firepower? And worst of all, are we supposed to even buy into the fact that they would even bother about a small town called Spokane? Sure, we would willingly suspend our disbelief for a movie that bothers to make sense; but 'Red Dawn' makes no such attempt, and utterly baffles in how it thinks it can get away with such an absurd setup.
Does it get better along the way? Absolutely not. Seeing his father executed before their eyes, Jed comes to the conclusion that they need to prepare for war and just like that, he becomes training commander of a young team of rebels who call themselves the 'Wolverines'. They learn to fight, to shoot and to hide, all in the name of preparing to wage an urban guerrilla campaign against the North Koreans who have taken over their town with their arsenal of soldiers, jeeps, and tanks.
And when they are finally ready, Matt decides to undermine their plans by scuttling off to rescue his girlfriend Erica (Isabel Lucas), thereby igniting a brotherly conflict between the rational and responsible Jed and the impulsive and impetuous Matt. What a pathetic attempt at trying to make us care about two stock types who frankly are just in the movie so we have the good guys the same goes for bringing Toni (Adrianne Paliki) and Erica into the fray and building some sort of romantic links between Jed and Matt respectively.
Even if we accept the tradeoffs in plot and character most B-movies would have their audience make, the least director Dan Bradley could have done is to mount some decently shot action sequences. That is precisely Bradley should have done with his cameraman Mitchell Amundsen shoot him point blank. Clearly trying too hard to emulate the 'Bourne' films to lend the action a sense of urgency, the shaky camera-work is downright frustrating to watch, and even more so because the sequences especially the final one set within a huge circular room fronted on all sides with glass windows are pretty promising to begin with.
No thanks to its abundant flaws, the movie also wastes its promising young cast. Hemsworth has good presence as the smart leader of the team (he takes over Patrick Swayze's role in the original), while Josh Hutcherson (who played Peeta in 'The Hunger Games' and here is in C. Thomas Howell's role) brings naivety and temperance to the role of Robert Kitner, a bookish type who turns warrior because of circumstance. Less convincing is Peck, who mostly just looks too stoned to convey any sort of inner dilemma his character is supposed to face.
Nonetheless, the acting is the least of the flaws in a movie that is painfully illogical and utterly nonsensical. Its invasion scenario might have been able to fly with an audience in the '80s, but to try to transplant the same premise to today's context is just plain daftness. Ironically, there are some moments that appear to suggest that the filmmakers are wise enough to know not to take the movie too seriously but those moments fade away as soon as the next unabashed war-mongering scene arrives.
Don't get us wrong this isn't about whether we love B-action movies or not. We do, but it is movies that insult the intelligence of its audience that we truly detest, and 'Red Dawn' is one perfect example of that. Watch only if you need to understand the meaning of stupid.
I was not going to talk about this moving until I saw one of the actors
interviewed on CNN. He talked about making it better than the original
because today's audiences are more sophisticated that they were 30
years ago and need a better story and acting. Please, this movie is
full of special effects and CGI, the acting is sub par and, it's just a
bad, bad movie. If this movies shows anything, it's that Hollywood has
no respect for audiences and just recycles an old movie, loads it with
pretty faces and special effects, makes it PC and throws it out at
audiences. Seems that every year, Hollywood throws out trash like this,
fills it with CGI and special effects, lot's of fires and explosions
and calls it "art".
A complete waste of time unless you are a male in his early teens.
if a movie could get 0 stars, that's what I would give this movie. It will be in the bargain bin at Walmart for .49 Even at this price, it's not worth the money.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Honestly you are better off going to North Korea than seeing this poor excuse of a movie. Honestly I wish N. Korea would invade us just so they could stop the distribution of this awful film. It is a shame that this movie was made in Michigan, not exactly a boost to our rep. I have no idea why they chose Josh Peck for one of the male leads. He makes Hayden Christiansen look like Marlon Brando in his prime. Now that I think about it, I might even have to suggest seeing that new Twilight instead of this. I know that's pretty extreme, but trust me it's really that bad. It also makes sense that this was filmed back in 2009 and just now is being released. In hindsight, the studio should've just cut its losses and canned this thing for good. The one positive is perhaps it will cause people to watch the original film from the 80's which is actually watchable.
Words cannot begin to describe how awful this movie is. Not sure if it
was meant to be serious or a parody that went haywire. This movie could
not end soon enough and the fact that its rating is sitting at a 5 on
IMDb right now just made me lose a ton of respect for the IMDb ratings.
My wife and I can't stop talking about how bad this movie was. A group of high school students terrorize an entire N. Korea army which for some reason or another took over small town USA? WTF? We couldn't stop laughing when the N. Korea military leader kept yelling "The wolverine terrorists are attacking..." yeah - watch out for those high school snipers (all 5 of them) terrorizing your artillery of tanks and thousands of troops.
I couldn't make up this movie plot and can't reasonably understand how any movie director or studio could come up with this, let alone actually release it to the public. It embarrasses the entire movie industry.
The director and studio should be banned from producing movies for life.
I'm sure this movie shows more or less how it looked when US forces
dropped in to say hello in Iraq and Afghanistan. The 30 year old
teenagers in this movie throw out mercilessly sub par dialog like "This
is not their land. This is our back yard and we're going to fight for
it," or "they killed our father, we have to fight or die." I'm sure
that's what they said in Fallujah too when good ol' George W. sent his
invading army to destroy their country. Aaameeerica,
Aaameeerrrrriiiicaa!! God save them all, they do make me laugh and cry
at the same time.
Enough has already been said in previous reviews about the wildly idiotic plot and lazy directing. Rather get the 1984 version. At least it had some heart in it, though the plot was just as ludicrous, playing on the strange fear of communism America has always fostered.
One more thing! Modern movies (this one being no exception) way overuse the lazy technique of compressing together various sorts of character growth sequences into a few minutes. It's very annoying and shows a lack of skill on everyones part.
This pitiful remake is nothing more than a hurried excuse to make money off of an 80′s action brand that made its money off of the pretty faces that starred in it, by doing more of the same. Oh well, we've got Chris Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson, right? (both fine actors, by the way). But wait, hell with them, let's have a greasy-looking, stoner-faced, mumbling Josh Peck as our war-torn hero. These "pretty faces" fill out the empty space where the rest of the story about a hostile North Korean attack on American soil should be. Wait, where's the United States military? Hell with them, there's some device that shut them all down, and these kids are our last hope! Yeah, right. If you can tie an anchor to every last one of your disbeliefs and drown them in the waters of horrible cinema, then maybe you can appreciate one or two of the well- orchestrated and intense action scenes that "Red Dawn 2.0″ has to offer. Maybe you can even grow attached to some of the characters. But hell with all that, and hell with an ending. That's the reward for your investment. But hey, the studios probably made enough money for a sequel. So there's that.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's been a while, since I have seen something this bad. In fact, I spent the whole screening time waiting for the movie to start making sense. The Koreans invade using a top secret EMP weapon that SINKS SUBMARINES (oh yeah) but leaves all electronics intact and working, with no resistance from the armed forces, apparently taking everyone by surprise. To remedy the situation, US sends 3(!) marines to take orders from a resistance cell operated by a local high school team in order to retrieve an unhackable device that lets the invading forces communicate with each other during the "blackout" (once again, all the electronics still work just fine). They succeed and escape to Canada, leaving the insurgent kids alone against the enemy. The Koreans seem to be completely incompetent and untrained: Not one of them can hit a target, prisoners are rounded up at a high school football team with only a few guards, when laying siege to a building, they never bother to cover the exits, etc. A mysterious Russian guy appears and is immediately identified as a counter insurgency expert. Despite this, he appears in the movie exactly twice and both time does nothing. On top of this, the product placement is pretty bad: at times it seems like the whole flick was shot by using ad money from rolling rock and hammermill. I want my 12 dollars back.
I came with somewhat high hopes, and I don't think I could have been
more let down. The story is alright, since mostly follows the original
and they didn't have much to write on their own. But they really
screwed the pooch on this one. Acting was among the worst I have ever
seen. Hemsworth is the only one that was passable, the rest
disgustingly atrocious. Josh Peck is an absolute joke, It was painful
to watch him, he should never have been casted. Even after filming
somebody should have done something to midigate his performance. I
can't speak enough to how terrible he was. The rest of the supporting
cast not much better. Seems like all they could do was make dramatic
faces and awkwardly spew out their lines.
This whole movie was terrible, i feel bad for anyone who is associated with this garbage, for the original movie and cast, because the new generation will likely judge their work on this ridiculous performance.
I really hope that the next time somebody decides to re-make a movie, they put some real effort into it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I always wonder who approves these kind of movie ideas? This movie was more annoying then anything I have seen in a very long time, and I felt the urge to walk out numerous times. I did my best not to compare this to the original, and kept an open mind as much as I could. However, this movie lacks real tension and emotion. The opening invasion scenes were very promising, but it went sadly downhill from there. The story arc of Matt Eckert was awful. There were absolutely zero plot twists, the most surprising part was when Jed was killed. But who shot him? I mean come on, the star of the movie gets killed by a "loud bang" out of nowhere, it's like the producers were making this up as they went. There was never a feeling of a big "show down" brewing, no climax. No character repertoire, just a big sterile, loud, jerky camera waste of time. I feel a remake of a classic film should be a homage to that original film. Otherwise, what use is it? Is this what the younger generation likes in action movies these days? I sure hope not.
A few of the positive reviews for this film were probably written by
real people... like 13 year old boys, and frustrated, wannabe soldiers
who failed the IQ test.
The rest can only have been added here by a cubicle farm of movie studio marketing drones, who really earned their pay trying to think of good things to say about this sad, career-damaging waste of time.
Josh Peck is one of the all-time worst casting calls, and should become a cautionary tale amongst casting agents.
Agent 1: 'What do you think of this guy for the main character?'
Agent 2: 'Are you trying to 'Josh Peck' this film?'
He looks about 20 years older than his older brother, and even in the most dramatic scenes - has a mopey expression on his face that makes you want to slap him. All I can imagine is that he helped fund the film, because there's no other logical reason for him playing this part.
I would have liked to be in the screening room when they showed this to the studio head. There was probably a long silence when the curtain fell, as half a dozen people were fired by text.
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