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Wolverines ride again
bkoganbing14 April 2013
Ending on a far more positive note that the first Red Dawn, this updated 21st century adaption of that Cold War classic has the USA invaded by North Korea and of course with help from Russia. Interesting how the film was made in 2009 and shelved for two years while we changed the villains from Chinese to North Korean because we have to think of that big Chinese market. That's capitalism at its finest.

Geopolitically it doesn't make much sense either. The Russians if anything have become super nationalist with the Russian Orthodox Church having more power than they did with the Czars. I doubt they would be helping the government of the still true believers in Revolution. Ditto the Chinese. Back in the day I remember when one did not refer to mainland China without the prefix Red attached to it. But about 30 seconds after Mao Tse-tung could not fog a mirror the revolution was over in China and not a moment too soon. Those who survived Mao's Red Guards could testify to that. Now they're as capitalist as we are with certain lip service paid to Mao just like in Russia lip service to the ideals of Lenin.

What these two did do after the fall of the Soviet Union which kept North Korea alive is say you're on your own Kim family and the little family enterprise you call a country. Like Prussia, it's a state that supports an army because if you don't join the army, you and your family might starve. And now they can't feed their people, but they can build their own nukes to threaten all around who enjoy prosperity. That's all of their neighbors.

The recent saber rattling of North Korea has given some credence to the popularity of this film as it did in the recent Olympus has fallen. The North Koreans invade, thousands of paratroopers over the Pacific rim and we're told that Russians are in the East Coast. They declared cyber warfare by screwing up our military defense systems and invaded.

And like the first version some high school kids fight the invaders and they call themselves Wolverines after their football team. The Wolverine which ironically is an endangered species is one fierce animal that never gives up and will take on a bigger foe and win.

Unlike the first version the kids are lucky enough to have Chris Hemsworth who was in Iraq to train them. Hemsworth's brother is Josh Peck and they gather a crew together and reek havoc on the occupiers. The action is also located in the Pacific Northwest and the Wolverines do some urban guerrilla warfare. The original story had the kids living and doing their thing in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and Wyoming.

In the original which I liked more than this both Patrick Swayze and C. Thomas Howell were killed and the story had an Ishmael like ending with one Wolverine surviving to tell the tale of the kids who fought back while America regrouped to reclaim itself. This one ended on a more upbeat, but false note.

Then again it was a far wackier premise with this plot than with the other version.
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Good action direction, but...
Leofwine_draca22 July 2015
RED DAWN is the remake of an '80s film with the same title which saw America being invaded by Russia and a group of teenagers becoming mercenaries to drive the invaders out. It was a wish-fulfilment fantasy, one which hasn't dated too well, so this rework sees the Russians replaced by North Koreans, although otherwise the storyline is much the same.

Unfortunately RED DAWN has some huge problems which scupper it from the outset. Credibility is one thing - the film never gets over the problem that North Korea would never have the resources to launch an invasion like this - but the main problem lies with the characters. In a word, they're horrible. The producers have picked the most unappealing young actors of the modern generation (I'm talking about you, Josh Hutcherson) and given them scenes in which they're completely out of their depth. It hurts when the best and most veteran actor is Chris Hemsworth, a guy who would be merely average in any other movie.

It's a pity that the lack of decent characters had me hating this, because there's good stuff here. First-time director Dan Bradley is best known for his work as a stunt co-ordinator and yet he does a decent job here, particularly when it comes to crafting the superior action sequences. The use of CGI is very effective, and that early scene with the parachutes coming in is completely chilling. What a shame, then, that the action is wasted in such an insipidly-cast and predictable movie.
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New history of Chinese Financing
SnoopyStyle26 August 2013
This is a remake of the campy 80s classic. It stars Chris Hemsworth , Josh Hutcherson, Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas, and Connor Cruise. There's nothing the actors could do to save this ridiculously illogical story.

Whereas the original had the US invaded by Russia and Latin America, this one is invaded by North Korea. At least the 80s version passed the smell test. This one is just too stupid. Originally, this 2012 version was supposed to be Chinese which actually had a chance. But the change is the new history of Hollywood financing. This movie was held up in editing hell. The Chinese money didn't like to be shown as the bad guys. So a painstaking re-editing changed all the Chinese soldiers into North Koreans.

As for the story, it's still basically the same idea. Except this time there is some kind of fantastical briefcase that explains the success of the foreign invaders. It just adds another element of disbelief into the movie. I like most of the actors in this, but there are too many unreasonable things to buy into.
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Red peril
Prismark1024 July 2015
Apparently North Korea is so poor that people in the countryside have to eat grass to survive. Not that you will gather from this film. North Korea invades the USA with CGI planes and CGI paratroopers who somehow have flown from the Far East in huge numbers and aim to run American better.

We see evidence of this later in the film because the Subway is run so efficiently. Of course when the scriptwriter said the North Koreans will run the subway efficiently he meant the one with trains, the Director thought of the well known chain of sandwich shops!

Matt Eckert (Josh Peck) is the hot headed football player of the Wolverine college team. His older brother Jed (Chris Hemsworth) has just returned from active duty in Iraq. Together they and a band of friends head out to the woods and launch guerrilla warfare against the North Koreans who are being aided by the Russians.

Josh Peck despite his acting appearances in the kids show Drake and Josh is awful. To think Josh Hutcherson has a minor role as a sidekick when he should had been the lead. Then again it does not help that the character of Matt is a jerk going around moping for his girlfriend and putting the lives of others at risk.

The film is just bad, its ineptly made. It would be something if a character equated the shock & awe of the North Koreans to the events of the US army in the middle east so it could at least have claim to be some sort of parody.

This is a remake of a cult film from 1984 which itself was no great shakes. Only the fact that there was some decent action sequences in the latter part of the movies saves it from a total bomb rating.
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Exacerbated Patriotism, but Watchable and Entertaining
claudio_carvalho17 August 2013
In Spokane, Washington, the population is awake by a North Koran invasion with paratroopers. The marine Jed Eckert (Chris Hemsworth) and his brother Matt Eckert (Josh Peck) escape with a group of friends to an isolated cabin in the woods. They witness the cruel Captain Cho (Will Yun Lee) executing their father and they decide to form a resistance group named Wolverines fighting against the invaders.

In 1984, "Red Dawn" was a cult movie for people of my generation. This contemporary remake is dumb, with exacerbated patriotism and funny lines. I laughed a lot when Jed explains that the invasion of Iraq was right since they were the "good guys", but the invasion of his country is an absurd since the invaders are the "bad guys". But forgetting this type of blunder, the action is watchable and entertaining. My vote is five.

Title (Brazil): "Amanhecer Violento" ("Violent Dawn")
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nogodnomasters29 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
The original film was the darling of second amendment advocates. Without a well armed civilian population, the Red Army would march in and take over. While as improbable the original script or corny the lines, there was a group of young up and coming actors that were able to deliver those lines and make us feel them.

In this film....the North Koreans? The same North Koreans who couldn't conquer South Korea and it was a small country right next door to them? These guys couldn't find their own butt with both hands and a map, but have been able to conquer a nation with a huge land mass and a modern military, with allies that would actually fight for us. So the scenario has gone from very improbable, to seriously? The same guys who shot missiles in spirals? We could conquer N. Korea after breakfast and be home for lunch.

At this point I had to remove my brain from my head to watch the film.

This film was updated to reflect the changes in the audience which demands more action and special effects at the cost of silly things like creating characters or drama.

Armed with some C-4 that happened to be lying around, Jed (Chris Hemsworth) leads a group of teens against the Red Army because somehow our entire arm forces stationed in over 100 nations and all the ships at sea are too busy fighting some electronic jamming EMF thing. In one scene Robert (Josh Hutcherson) risks everyone's life to rescue the pretty blond Erica (Isabel Lucas) and still can't score.

With an inane script, you need good actors who can bring it to life. This one didn't have it. In fact it bordered on campy considering it was NORTH KOREA! The film ended rather abruptly after a brief "patriotic" message..."This is our home." Older generations who saw the original, might want to catch this later as a cheap rental...or not. Not as good as Expendables 2. This is a good film to pretend you want to see really bad, but your girlfriend doesn't want to see it. You then make the "big sacrifice" and watch "Twilight" with her which should lead to....

Parental Guide: 1 F-bomb, no sex or nudity. The city is suppose to be Spokane, but it was filmed mostly in Michigan. The army was originally Chinese, but it was changed so not to insult the Chinese. Now the film could be shown in their market. How comes I feel like we already lost without firing a shot? I can sleep better at night knowing Chris Hemsworth and Patrick Swayze with their constitution right to bear arms are out there protecting me.
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Action is decent
kosmasp19 May 2013
And that is about the best thing that can be said, about this Remake. OK, the actors are good looking too, but it's up to you to decide if you want to honor the casting people. And they just did more or less, what the original did. Took some "hot" names and put them together in a movie. It's not the fault of the actors though, that the movie could not live up to the original (which did not age well itself).

Even though you sort of get a new villain (sort of, "instead" of Russia) and one that is personified, it doesn't really touch you. The plot just doesn't fly. There are more holes here than in swiss cheese. It tries hard to explain things, which often times makes them even more ridiculous. Even the original knew better than that. Of course the action is updated as mentioned above, but is that enough for the lack of passion and the obnoxious use of the "piece symbol" (with fingers)? You have to answer that one yourself. Characters are not consistent and overall it's too "smooth" for its own good
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Quarterback G. I. Joe … The REAL American Hero!
Coventry4 January 2016
I really ought to re-watch the original 1984 version of "Red Dawn" again, even if it were only to see if that one annoys me just as much as the remake does. I saw the original already, but it must have been nearly 20 years ago or something, and back then my standards for plausible plots and misplaced patriotism must have been set a lot lower. The only things I remember from the 1984 "Red Dawn" are awesome action sequences and performances from the utterly cool Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen. The 2012 version has pretty much the same plot, except that the evil Soviets have been replaced by evil North Koreans for obvious political reasons. I can imagine how that brainstorming session at United Artists headquarters must have gone: "Let's take North Koreans as the opponents. We don't know anything about them except that they are not allowed to watch American movies on television, so they'll never find out anyways…" The "Red Dawn" movies have the most implausible and ridiculous plots imaginable, but only like this they can shamelessly glorify the true American patriotism! History has made it unmistakably clear that warfare through ground troops invasions are guaranteed suicide missions. If you want to claim another nation as your own, you drop bombs – preferably nuclear ones – from planes. Those awful North Koreans clearly didn't learn anything from Napoleon's or even Adolf Hitler's defeats and nevertheless decide to invade America's heartland by dropping thousands of soldiers with parachutes. In Spokane, a sleepy little Washington State town, a handful of teenagers fight back. They call themselves the Wolverines and exist of the two Eckert brothers and their girlfriends, the mayor's son, the town nerd and a few other members of the football team. The self-acclaimed leader is a former mariner, so I can still accept his killer instincts, but the other teenagers' transformation from regular American kids into relentless military killing machines by far surpasses my suspension of disbelief. All the American born actors with distant Asian roots (Will Yun Lee, Steven Chan, Cindy Chu…) must have been desperate for work and the tagline "Heroes are made in America" nearly makes me nauseous.
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Mediocre film, unbelievable story
Gordon-1110 December 2013
This film tells how a group of teenagers save their hometown near Seattle from North Korean invasion.

"Red Dawn" reminds me of a big budget teenage version of "Home Alone" , but with a lot more toys and explosions. The characters are portrayed to be surprisingly courageous and able, doing things that even well trained soldiers cannot do. They also seem to be shockingly well stocked on ammunition, which is a little alarming considering their age. I am also surprised by the fact they are still thinking about girls when their friends and family got killed. In short, the story is quite unbelievable, at times even to the point of ridiculous. "Red Dawn" starts out mediocre, and it does not improve.
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Home of the brave and braver.
michaelRokeefe4 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is actually based on the 1984 film, of the same name, starring Patrick Swaze and C. Thomas Howell. The whole story centers around a group of young people more than willing to defend their hometown from a North Korean invasion. The mainland is vulnerable due to increased deployment of American troops abroad. After a mysterious power outage in Spokane, Washington a young Marine,Jed Eckert(Chris Hemsworth), home on leave, and his brother Matt(Josh Peck)awaken to swarms of North Korean paratroopers and transport aircraft. The brothers are joined by other friends at the family cabin in the woods. The group of young people are anxious and fearful, but must come to a decision to surrender to the invaders or try and fight the good fight defending their families, friends and hometown. After acquiring various weapons, the small group of teen defenders carry out guerrilla attacks against the obviously better prepared North Korean troops. But as you know, might doesn't always determine the winner of the fight.

Prepare for sequences of intense war violence that is accompanied by very strong language and disturbing images. RED DAWN is directed by Dan Bradley and has a supporting cast featuring: Josh Hutcherson, Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas, Edwin Hodge, Will Yun Lee, Fernando Chien and Alyssa Diaz.
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" North Korea ? It Doesn't Make Sense " - You're Not Wrong
Theo Robertson19 June 2013
This is a remake of a 1980s film where America gets occupied by the Soviet Union and Cuba . Hardly a credible premise but you have to meet it on its own right wing terms . Originally this remake was going to feature an occupation of America by the Chinese . Hardly a credible premise but the fact American films get shown in China nowadays means there's a massive potential market and being worried about losing money the producers then changed the enemy invasion force to the North Koreans . This is where the whole movie collapses from the outset

Some people have defended this film on the grounds that such an invasion could be possible down to the fact that NK has an army of one million people under arms . Indeed it does but this misses out that it lacks any logistical capacity . While amateurs talk tactics professionals talk logistics . NK lacks any force projection . By this I mean it lacks any capacity to invade neighbouring countries . It has no real serviceable navy and even a possible invasion of South Korea would involve hundreds of thousands of troops being transported in either trucks or on foot so any surprise attack on America by NK is laughable . The screenplay does try to get around this unconvincing premise by stating the Koreans have launched an attack by EMP weapons that have destroyed America's communication systems and are are being helped by the Russians though it's never stated why the Russians would be brothers in arms with North Korea

John Milius wrote the original RED DAWN as a right wing wish fulfillment . The world has changed beyond all recognition since then so what's the political subtext ? Is there one ? I'm not sure . One of the protagonists is a former veteran of the Iraqi conflict and leading the band of guerrilla fighters he makes the point " When I was abroad we were the good guys because we brought order . Now we're the bad guys because we bring chaos " I fail see the thinking behind this . Order=good , chaos = bad ? How is that then ? Surely it should be democracy good , tyranny bad ? If you're expecting any profound discussion about the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter you're watching the wrong film because the remake of RED DAWN is more concerned about setting up action packed set-pieces where brave Americans kill nasty Asiatic commies

Even then the action scenes collapse when you give them any thought . Don't the North Korean soldiers have things like road blocks where anyone passes through has to be searched for weapons ? There's also a lack of internal continuity . You can guarantee that when the script demands it there's literally thousands of NKs patrolling the streets of the city then when the guerrillas launch an attack there's only a handful of North Koreans who are cannon fodder , then the good guys are back in their camp safe and sound . Why didn't the thousands of communists just head them off in the pass ?

The original film was bad enough but this one is worse . You can perhaps say this remake has better action scenes but for an action scene to successfully work then there has to still an element of credibility involved and everything about this film lacks any credible element and feels anachronistic in any point it might be making . Indeed in the 1980s American control was criticised in case America became a target of foreign invasion . Try claiming people should be allowed access to guns in case of a sneak attack by North Korea and listen to the laughter
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No Adrenaline Shot Here
LeonLouisRicci24 April 2013
It is remotely possible that this one had back funding from the NRA and Fox News with maybe some other financial support from Subway, Rolling Rock, and Dick Cheney. It is an awful Right-Wing Movie with more clichés and stupid stuff than imaginable.

The Acting ranges from mumbling to staring. The battle scenes are laughable and sub-par even for CGI. A Politician, the Mayor, is Black and of course in Cheney-la-la-land, somewhere near Birtherville, he becomes a Defector. The parallel is obvious.

We have a Man-Thing where the Highs School Quarterback is given his first Beer and Gun. As for the Females in the "Militia" they look spiffy in the cave hideout, still sporting some blow dry, lipstick, and cleavage. But they do chip in yielding some heavy ordinance and are known affectionately as "The Girls".

No adrenaline shot here, it is just too flat and badly handled to inspire much Patriotism even though there are a few speeches that try. "This is our home"..."this is our back yard". But, hold on, in the badly thought out opening scene of this misfire, at the Football Game, the Home Team lost.
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The "Red Dawn" Remake Surpasses the Original!!!
zardoz-1323 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Although I ranked the original "Red Dawn" (1984) as a vintage Reagan-era action opus, freshman director Don Bradley's supercharged, high-octane, remake starring Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, and Josh Hutcherson surpasses its predecessor on several counts. The first "Red Dawn" depicted a Soviet invasion of a small Colorado town and the scrappy squad of high school teens who eventually ousted them with their hit-and-run guerrilla warfare. Patrick Swayze starred in the original, and Charlie Sheen made his cinematic debut. Anti-Communist, Cold War movies enjoyed a brief renaissance when "Red Dawn" came out. Clint Eastwood's "Firefox" (1982) about a washed-up Vietnam pilot who stole a top-secret Soviet stealth jet fighter represented a standard example of these films. Sylvester Stallone's "Rocky IV" (1985) appeared a year after "Red Dawn" with the Italian Stallion swapping blows with a gigantic Soviet pugilist. Meanwhile, James Bond had tangled with cunning Soviets in both "For Your Eyes Only" (1981) and "Octopussy" (1983). The Soviets qualified as despicable B-movie villains, but the Americans defeated them despite any handicaps. The last gasp of this sub-genre occurred during the 1980s, particularly after the bottom dropped out of the Evil Empire in 1989. Comparatively, while Milius' "Red Dawn" unfolded largely in a rural setting, the agile remake occurs in the urban setting of Spokane, Washington. Bradley and scenarists Carl Ellsworth of "Disturbia" and Jeremy Passmore of "Special" haven't departed drastically from the original screenplay that Kevin Reynolds of "Waterworld" and John Milius of "Flight of the Intruder" penned. Whereas the original concluded with the defeat of the enemy and the end of World War III, the "Red Dawn" remake leaves the outcome of the action up in the air. This remake is not as enigmatic about the fate of its protagonist.

Chris Hemsworth of "Thor" plays battle seasoned Marine Jed Eckert who comes home to Spokane after his tour of duty. It seems Jed ran out not only on his father, Spokane Police Sergeant Tom Eckert (Brent Cullen), but also his impressionable younger brother Matt (Josh Peck of "Drillbit Taylor") and left no messages. Not long after Jed arrives home, the unexpected happens. Enemy cargo planes crowd the sky, and paratroopers appear like a blizzard of snowflakes. Jed, Matt, and their friend Robert (Josh Hutcherson of "The Hunger Games") scramble for the safety of the family cabin in the woods. Along the way, they pick up several others as they flee from the besieged city during a harrowing auto chase with the North Koreans in furious pursuit. Eventually, Jed trains these teens from the bootstraps up into a lethal band of guerrillas. Soon they become the bane of the North Koreans. Everywhere our heroes go and devastate the North Koreans, they spray-paint wolverines on the walls. Wolverines are the name of their high school football team. No matter how fiercely North Korean District Leader Captain Cho (Will Yun Lee of "Die Another Day") pursues them, Jed and company elude him at every turn. One day our heroes join forces with three Marines dispatched to contact them. Helicopter pilot Colonel Andy Tanner (Jeffrey Dean Morgan of "The Losers") and his two men explain they have been ordered to retrieve a top-secret communications unit that the enemy uses to safeguard its chain of command. Jed and Matt clash when Matt takes advantage of an opportunity to rescue his girlfriend, Erica Martin (Isabel Lucas of "Immortals"), from a prison bus during a major tactical exercise. One of them dies because Matt goes rogue on the Wolverines. Before long the North Korean bring in an imposing Russian military adviser who devises a way to track the Wolverines back to their lair. Jed and Matt square off against each other about Matt's irresponsible attitude. Eventually, the two reach reconciliation before the North Koreans descend on them without warning.

One of the biggest criticisms about "Red Dawn" (1984) was its far-fetched premise. A Soviet airborne invasion seemed dubious initially, and it seems even more implausible in the remake. The Soviet Union emerged as our chief nemesis from the end of World War II and remained so until 1989. Pitting a faction of fresh-faced kids against the Soviets isn't nearly as improbable as pitting them against the North Koreans. Mind you, nobody considers the North Koreans a serious threat compared with either Russia or China. One of the strengths of the "Red Dawn" remake, however, is the way it makes the events that precipitate World War III seem credible. Nevertheless, casting the North Koreans as our adversary remains lamentable. Originally, the filmmakers cast the Red Chinese as our adversary. Afterward, the studio changed their minds because China imports Hollywood's product. Consequently, the studio kept "Red Dawn" on the shelf for three years while they digitally altered the uniforms, insignia, and identity of the invading army. Bradley and his writers make us abhor the North Koreans and cheer for the underdog heroes. Freshman director Don Bradley, who supervised the stunts on "The Bourne" movies as well as "Spider-man 2" and "Spider-man 3,"stages the combat sequences with vigorous aplomb. The teens look credible enough wielding some impressive firepower. Bradley doesn't waste time either. This "Red Dawn" clocks in considerably shorter than the Milius original. Some of the dialogue sounds quotable, particularly the remark about Marines regrouping in Hell. Altogether, "Red Dawn" qualifies as another of those few remakes that overshadows the original.
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No better than average
neil-47622 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
There was me watching the news and thinking that the problem with North Korea is that there is a nutjob with a nuke in charge. Turns out I was wrong: according to Red Dawn, he's a nutjob with an invasion (or should I say "invasian") force, which is why the inhabitants of Spokane are surprised to wake up to find hordes of oriental paratroopers raining down on them. The only ones who escape the round-up are assorted very old-looking teenagers and a big brother who is a marine home on leave. They fight back with a view to becoming a focal resistance movement.

Red Dawn (2013) is a remake of Red Dawn (1984), in which the invasion force was Russian and Patrick Swayze played the older brother. I have never seen that original version, so I only have this version to consider in isolation, so no comparisons here.

It's OK at best. There is some tolerable action, Chris Hemsworth has commanding screen presence, and there was one very effective shock moment.

On the other side, it doesn't bear close examination (it is absolutely littered with unanswered questions and things which don't make sense), there is little individuality among the resistance group even though they are so few, and Josh Peck as the younger brother (and the intended audience identification figure) is absolutely awful.

After two hours, you may well be tossing a coin to decide if you wasted your time or not.
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What a Piece of Crap.
anaconda-4065826 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Red Dawn (2012): Dir: Dan Bradley / Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson, Adrienne Palicki, Isabel Lucas: Unbearably dull piece of dirt about the emerging of evil. Perhaps that can describe the fact the studios heaped this remake on us without a bit of warning of how bile it is. We have North Korean soldiers landing in America for a takeover that must have had even the biggest of comedians rolling in the aisles with laughter. Then we have Chris Hemsworth as a soldier returning from active duty who trains a group of snot nose kids who have all the believability of the characters in the Peanuts comics. After seeing their policeman father shot from a distance, they form a laughable group called the Wolverines. For the length of time it takes Hemsworth to train these idiots to fight like soldiers, I could have had a quick sh*t. None of this makes any sense and director Dan Bradley is no help either. We are subjected to action scenes that couldn't be any worse than if they were reenacted as a skit on Saturday Night Live. Hemsworth gives lame speeches about patriotism, while his brother, played by Josh Peck basically whines and pouts. The selfish brat rescues his chained girlfriend on a bus but doesn't seem to care about the other prisoners. Josh Hutcherson plays a wussy tech kid, and Adrienne Palicki plays Hemworth's new lady who trains really quick. Isabel Lucas plays Peck's girlfriend whom he risks his neck freeing while leaving everyone else on the bus. Easily one of the worst films of the year and it should be taken to a remote region, strapped to a bomb and blown up. Score: 1 / 10
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Red Yawn......
FlashCallahan7 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The first time around, it wasn't the best eighties movie in the world, but it had a great cast, and it was fun for what it was.

Take this remake, probably the worst remake I've seen in a very long time, and you realise the only reason this has seen the inside of a movie theatre is because of Thor, Avengers Assemble, and The Hunger Games, no other reason what so ever.

This time, the North Koreans have invaded, and the character from Die Another Die is trying to take over whatever.

The worst thing he can do is kill Thors dad, not only will this vex the 'Wolverines', it gets rid of the best actor in the film very early on.

But the biggest problem is the fact that the heroes rarely seem in danger, from the first encounter, the N. Koreans just stand there and watch them drive about and look perplexed, and the res too the film the heroes just blow up stuff and argue.

Toward the end of the film Dean Morgan, the cut price George Clooney appears to give it Gravitas, but its too late, the film is ruined, as there is no real flow in narrative structure.

It's the worst mainstream release I've seen since that awful RZA film with Crowe, and it really poisons your memory of a half decent eighties movie.

A horrid, rancid, pointless movie, that the film company has released in a desperate attempt to make a little money on the basis that two stars are quite big now.

It fails, miserably.
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Deserved to flop - childish and cheap
phd_travel12 July 2013
The story comes across as amateurish and childish - not to mention ludicrous and politically incorrect. An unnecessary movie to remake. At least in the Swayze version there was a cold war going on. North Koreans have so many problems of their own eg enough food to eat they are hardly going to mount a parachute attack on suburban Pacific Northwest. Most of it felt like paintball in the woods.

The cast is bad. Josh Peck and Chris Hemsworth as brothers? Josh looked really daft and his character was so annoying. Chris doesn't look good with a crew cut - in fact it makes him look like an overweight redneck. The ladies Isabel and Adrianne looked like they would rather be elsewhere. Poor Will Yun Lee - his biggest role in this drivel.

In fact the audience would all be better of being elsewhere than watching this.
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Better than the original!
mm-3926 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Better story than the original! The makers watched the old movie then modernized and improved Red Dawn. I love how the Hemsworth's character drives the storyline. The in-between deployments marine understands military tactics and how to create an insurgency. Red Dawn unfolds how a military take-over would work. During the take-over, there are two types of people, those who collaborate and the ones who fight! There is an inside joke about the deer blood! (will not say more) The remake has a better storyline where the insurgences have a goal. The ending with the passing of the torch is memorable. I give Red Dawn an eight out of ten. Nice to see a remake which is well done. The remake is not another rip off using a movie classic's name.
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Us damn Yanks, right?
StevePulaski24 November 2012
Red Dawn is probably the only remake in the history of film that sports a title that is less relevant to its subject matter than when it was originally used. I get it; red represents communism, but never have I heard North Koreans be called "reds" like the Soviet Union. China would've been more plausible, but when the filmmakers attempted to make the Chinese the invaders in this remake, they were outraged that a country they assisted for so long would go back and demonize them in a piece of patriotic propaganda. This spectacle makes me seriously wonder how we Americans are portrayed in foreign cinema.

If it's anything like how we've portrayed foreigners in our cinema, I would anticipate nothing but caricatures filled with enough greed and bigotry for an entire country. But back to the film at hand; Red Dawn is just what you'd expect of a film that remakes the 1984 film. The original film's values have been decreased to nothing more than a cult hit depicting one man's "what if?" thought stretched into a near two hour film. Here, we are greeted with more incredulity, soullessness, tiresome action sequences, and redundant explosions than in the first film, but we are robbed of the pleasant appearances of actors like Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, and Powers Boothe.

The film revolves around the town of Spokane, Washington, where Jed Eckhert (Chris Hemsworth), who served as a Marine for six years after the death of his mother, returns home to greet his father and football star brother Matt (Josh Peck), only to be disturbed by a power outage the same night Matt loses a big game. They awake in the morning to find North Korean paratroopers dropping to the ground and F-16s hurling through the sky, and quickly pursue their pickup truck to round up their teen neighbors, Robert (Josh Hutcherson) and Daryl (Connor Cruise) and proceed to hide out in a remote mountainous cabin that just so happens to shelter days worth of bullets, food, and other supplies just in case them North Koreans decide to drop in.

Washington soon turns into a battleground, and we learn from seconds of disjointed news footage that the United States government has lost all control of their country. Koreans have detained citizens, constructed concentration camps with large signs reading "YOU DESERVE TO BE HERE" rather quickly, have shot hundreds of innocent people, destroyed a number of buildings, and have begun establishing new world order, calling out corruption and greed as the United States' reason for failing (also stating they're the ones who will help us). Isn't it nice to have a leader tell you your country's system has failed as him and his men have done us the kindness of dropping onto our soil and killing a number of innocent men and women, while trapping the ones they've let live in detainment camps? But ththeir ways are better and more fair than ours. Trust them.

Whatever. It turns out Washington's fate rests in the hands of these brave teenagers, now calling themselves the "Wolverines," after their high school football team, as they prepare themselves, retrain their reflexes, build bombs, and blow the hell out of a lot of Korean soldiers in an effort to take back their homeland. What I wondered throughout the whole picture was what the hell the Korean military was thinking and what they tried to accomplish by invading the U.S.? The Korean population is not even a fifth of the United States', and I doubt all their citizens are part of this militia, so why would they try to apprehend and attack a country so much larger than them, and what was their main goal? Imperialistic greed? That would be an act of hypocrisy towards their new policy they are trying to implement. What plan could possibly involve detaining citizens, killing them, blowing up buildings, and plastering their flag all over the country while reminding them they're there in the population's best interest? And do not get me started on the abundance of action sequences that are choppily edited, haphazardly choreographed, and pathetically compiled together trying to resemble something of a coherency timeline. Ever play a Call of Duty game? Join an online match, turn the volume all the way up, begin playing, and have someone shake the TV in the process and you got the action scenes in Red Dawn.

Some will question whether or not this film improves over the 1984 cult hit and I will say in some cases it does. The tone is more serious and the invasion sequence is more suspenseful and a lot grittier than in the original picture. Both Chris Hemsworth and Josh Peck have been in some great films (hell, what hasn't Hemsworth been in this year?), and this genre of guerrilla action has scarcely seen brighter days, but the remake of Red Dawn is just as redundant and as tedious as the original film, only at least the original film had a valid reason for existing.

NOTE: I find it amusing how this film has gone so far under the radar in terms of controversy when Larry Charles' The Dictator (released this same year) had so much criticism reflecting off of it and all it was was a raunchy satire, no more crude and raucous than such works as The Hangover: Part II or Project X. Considering which one is more realistic, although they both pack an incredulous resume, I'd expect to see Americans speaking poorly about a Red Dawn remake in the modern day; not rushing to see it.

NOTE II: Visit my blog to see an analysis of both Red Dawn films to see which one I feel is the better film,

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson, Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas, Connor Cruise, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Directed by: Dan Bradley.
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Hello Kitty
tieman647 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
John Milius released "Red Dawn" in 1984. Dan Bradley remade the film in 2012. Both films find a gang of photogenic young Americans fighting a guerrilla war against foreign invaders (Soviet Russia in the original film, North Korea in the remake).

Milius was a notorious right winger, conservative and gun advocate, so there was some kind of honesty propelling his project. It was racist, xenophobic, dumb, militaristic, alarmist, violently nationalistic, but it felt personal, dammit. A self-described "rugged individualist", Milius' "Dawn" was also a nutty attack on "big government". His well armed guerrillas weren't only protecting Uncle Sam from "dirty communists", "insurgents" and "evil foreign invaders", but protecting their home-towns from an expanding state which sought to "take away our freedoms, man!" And though Milius' heroes were defending a town called Calumet (literally "peace", ie "fighting for peace"), Milius also hinted that America was itself irrevocably corrupt and might not even be worth saving. And so he salivated instead over a kind of nihilistic, glorified version of warfare, where death, battle and survivalists are exalted and those who don't stand up and fend for themselves are weak, pu*****, and so deserve to be crushed.

Yeah, it's stupid, but it felt like art. Bradley's "Red Dawn", in contrast, oozes boardroom meetings, plastic visuals and decision committees. The film is so cynical, it changed the nationality of its invading army from Chinese to North Koreans mid production. Why? Purely for box office reasons. With the North Korean market cut off and potential Chinese market's vast, MGM executives promptly ordered the film's "enemy race" changed. And so "Red Dawn" bent to the will of the almighty dollar. Seduced by the Chinese cash cow, it then spent many months in post-production, MGM lackeys digitally altering flags, sets, national symbols and dubbing over Chinese dialogue with Korean. No harm done. Right? After all, Asians do all look the same.

Both films offer few thrills, but Bradley's was the more pointless of the two, having been released in the wake of "Tomorrow, When the War Began", another "Red Dawn" remake which likewise demonized Asians and portrayed them as invading menaces. Both films express very western anxieties, pander to western fear mongers, and stir up very specific resentments; China's economy is gathering momentum and so, it is perceived, steps must be taken to both attack it and forestall the collapse of the US Empire.

Of course the notion that the United States is being "threatened" and "is at risk of a North Korean or Chinese invasion", is nonsense, just as the idea of a "communist invasion" was nonsense in Milius' era. Indeed, from the 1940s onwards, the truth was virtually the opposite, the US systematically invading or annihilating left leaning, communist or socialistic movements across the globe. Today the US has China surrounded, has 60 percent of its Navy stationed in the region, and wages proxy wars with it across Africa and South America. China may be a "threat" to the US in the far future, but as of now there is no force in the world that can match the US Empire, an Empire which has over 700 military bases in foreign countries around the world, a multi zillion dollar military budget (which dwarfs the combined economies of entire continents), possesses state-of-the-art military hardware and has its own proxy armies embedded in most of the world's hot-spots. And of course, far from being at risk of invasion, the US spends much of its time invading foreign nations, be it secretly or blatantly. The irony is, what finally crushes the American Empire - history teaches us that all Empires shrink back down to impotent pinpricks - will most likely not be foreign invasion but perhaps exactly what tended to crush previous Empires: over-expansion, mounting debts and inflation.

There are slight differences between "Great" Empires of the past, though, and the US Empire. Past empires were extractive. They succeeded because the value of the resources and wealth extracted from conquered lands exceeded the value of conquest and governance. Rome failed because Romans exhausted manpower and resources fighting civil wars and amongst themselves. The British Empire for similar reasons. Americans, meanwhile, get few extractive benefits from war. Iraq hit the US public with trillion dollar debts and no Iraqi oil, likewise the struggle against the Taliban in Afghanistan. So where's the money going? Not to Washington, not to the US state as an extractive organism, but to the benefit of a few powerful interest groups; parasitic cartels embedded within and beyond the state. Under such a structure, conquest therefore stops being the aim – the US did not conquer Iraq and has been forced out politically by the government that Washington established – because success at war no longer matters. Rather, extraction now takes place by being at war, and the victor nation is as much a victim, taxpayer money slowly suckled. The goal is no longer to extract from the enemy, but to strip American wealth and "liberty" as well. This is why the wars cannot end, why their goals are purposefully vague, or if one does end another promptly starts. And of course to sanction such a state of perpetual war, ethics need to be constantly trumpeted: war as a "humanitarian necessity", a "universal human right", a "morally superior action" etc.

Milius' "Red Dawn" was somewhat unique in the 1980s. Aesthetically, Milius also had a certain audacity, executing children, teachers and civilians, and finding some nightmarish visuals here and there. His career would quickly take a nosedive, though, before Steven Spielberg hired him to do some rewrites on "Saving Private Ryan", another, albeit less obvious, right wing fantasy. Bradley's film, in contrast, is both generic and anonymous, with a cast of token Asians, token African Americans, a cardboard evil villain and a muscular, all-American hero. It's unintentionally funny rather than thrilling.

1/10 - Worth no viewings.
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So dumb it's annoying
KineticSeoul31 March 2013
Now this is coming from a guy that didn't see the original. But this movie sucks, sure it has quite a bit of action. But everything about it is so dumb and doesn't make any sense to the point it gets annoying really quickly. The movie is about the North Korean army invading America with the help of other communist countries such as Russia. And a band of teens and one marine dude is trying to put a stop to them by destroying the North Korean army plans. So the high school teens and a marine dude create this freedom fighter team called the Wolverines. And constantly attack the North Korean army that invaded their turf. But this is done in a way where just about nothing makes sense and the invaders act like they want to be shot. Because they walk around like open targets when they know dangers all around them. Sure some movies have villains that make incompetent moves but this is just way way too much. It gets too much to the point it can even give you a headache. This might have worked as a video game but as a movie it fails. All the characters are underdeveloped and the comradeship is just so darn weak. I didn't care who lived or who died. Just pass on this one, unless you want to see a movie that annoys you. One of my co-worker said this movie looks so dumb when we first saw the trailer before the screening of "Skyfall" but what I didn't expect was how this flick takes the word dumb to another level.

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It isn't really that much worse than the original but will never be as fondly loved or remembered.
Hellmant8 December 2012
'RED DAWN': Three Stars (Out of Five)

Remake to the cult classic 1984 hit about the invasion of a small American town and a group of young people (mostly teenagers) looking to defend it. The original was about the invasion of America by the Soviet Union (and it's Nicaraguan and Cuban allies) and centered on a small Colorado town. It came at the height of the Cold War so it was very relevant and popular because of it. This remake (which was finished filming over two years ago and shelved due to the studio, MGM, having financial troubles) is about an American invasion by North Korea (and some Russian allies) and centers on the town Spokane, Washington. The film was originally about a Chinese invasion of America but scenes were re-shot and re-edited, while it was sitting in wait, due to China being offended and America wanting to keep their box office. The already unbelievable plot was made even more unrealistic by changing the invading army to a North Korean one (which is very small compared to the American Army) and makes no sense. The film spends little time trying to make sense though and is just a cheesy bad war film that is actually pretty faithful to the original.

Chris Hemsworth was cast as the film's lead prior to playing 'Thor' (and was only known for a cameo in the 2009 'STAR TREK' reboot, playing George Kirk). He plays Jed (a role played by Patrick Swayze in the original), who is on leave from military duties in Afghanistan and has returned home to his family in Spokane unexpectedly. His brother, Matt (Josh Peck, playing a role previously played by Charlie Sheen), is a high school football star who just blew a big game. He's mad at Jed for suddenly leaving home after their mother died and is not happy to see him. The next morning (after Jed arrives) they both awake to find North Korean soldiers parachuting into the streets and taking over their town. Their father Tom Eckert (Brett Cullen), a local police sergeant, tells them to flee to their cabin in the woods (which is funny if you're a Chris Hemsworth fan). They take some other high schoolers with them. After witnessing their father being executed the boys decide to form a resistance force and call themselves 'The Wolverines', after their high school mascot. The rest of the film focuses on their rebellion against the North Korean Army. It co-stars Isabel Lucas, Adrianne Palicki and Josh Hutcherson (in a role previously played by C. Thomas Howell) as fellow resistance fighters.

The film was directed by stunt man (and stunt coordinator) turned first time feature film director Dan Bradley. It was written by Carl Ellsworth (who co-wrote the thrillers 'RED EYE', 'DISTURBIA' and the 2009 remake of 'THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT') and Jeremy Passmore. The original was directed and co-written by the great John Milius. It was just as bad a film as this remake but it came at a time when it had a lot greater impact. Milius was a very talented director and writer and had a lot of fun with the 1984 hit but the filmmakers behind this one aren't too shabby either. Still the film is somewhat of a mess and kind of sloppy. What's going on is never very clear or how it's at all possible but the original was almost as unbelievable. The cast of the original was a little more impressive but Hemsworth is a good leading man and Isabel Lucas is gorgeous. If you compare the two this film isn't really that much worse but it still will never be as fondly loved or remembered as the original.

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They completely loss the essence of the original
Robert_duder2 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
First of all I will say as a huge movie fanatic, I am not opposed to remakes. I won't go into details why but I love seeing a good remake and there are plenty despite what some will say. I really wanted to like this. Even after hearing a lot of bad feedback, I really wanted to. I just didn't. It has a few plus sides but unfortunately it drags itself down and I place the blame almost entirely on a bad script. This particular version of the film does absolutely nothing to capture what Red Dawn was and is all about. The original film is a classic by many standards but it was in part due to the timely nature of the film when the Soviet Union was a threat and American patriotism and feeling immortal was at all time high. Nowadays, our tolerance for war is at an all time low and we don't feel so immortal anymore so the entire concept feels implausible. Part of that is because of the gaping plot holes that they chose to just skip over in the script or blow something else up in hopes that you ignore their horrendous errors in story telling. The biggest mistake almost immediately is that they do nothing to set up the characters in the film. In the original you became so attached to The Wolverines and their plights against the Soviets but everything happens so quickly in this film that you hardly know who anyone is and what their relationship is. They rush through everything so quickly that there is virtually no development at all and the pacing just feels off.

The one thing that works in this film is the cast. Everyone does a truly great job especially when you consider what they are given to work with. I can't say a single negative thing about this cast except that we don't get more development out of their characters. Chris Hemsworth is perfect as the tough rugged marine in the right place at the wrong time. I think he has proved with this and Cabin In The Woods that he is much more than just Thor. Josh Peck really does steal scenes as the younger brother. He shows some great emotion and aside from his cheesy speech at the end he does a good job. Josh Hutcherson is mostly a background player in the film but he still does decently in his scenes. Given how popular he has become with Hunger Games, I'm surprised he didn't have a bigger role. Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas and Connor Cruise round out the main team as secondary supporting characters. They are quite good in their roles despite having such small parts. Other supporting cast members worth noting are Brett Cullen and Jeffrey Dean Morgan who are both remorsefully underused. Morgan's character is barely needed at all and once again he gets shafted in a bad/mediocre movie. I love the guy but he can't catch a break. Will Yun Lee looks the part of a super villain but he never really comes across as a true threat. He is given virtually no lines and there isn't really a climactic battle scene for him to show off his bad side.

It almost makes me angry and shows just how little the producers cared about making this a good film when they choose a stuntman, with no prior directing experience to helm this movie. Dan Bradley clearly knows how to blow things up because there isn't anything wrong with the action sequences or special effects in the movie. The explosions are constant, all the time, non stop without any real purpose to further the story. Violence is mostly shown in the form of the aforementioned mass explosions and the camera conveniently makes sure you never see any single person shot in cold blood...and yet the movie is packed with coarse language as though that were better than showing violence which would actually play into the films themes. It was mildly entertaining thanks to a strong cast doing their utmost with a sub-par script, and some decent action scenes. I'm not comparing this to the original at all because it doesn't even hold a flame to it so it stands on its own as being marginally entertaining but only barely. It will have a hard time finding a demographic as the cast is too old for teenagers and the story is too ridiculous for adults. Watch the original, and also check out the superb Australian film "Tomorrow When The War Began" to see how this should have been done. 5.5/10
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Pretty much what I expected
bowmanblue21 September 2014
I have to confess... I missed the eighties original, so I can't compare this remake to its predecessor. However, I knew the story - America is invaded by a hostile force and its up to some good looking teens to turn into 'the resistance' and fight back.

How much you enjoy this movie will depend on how much you can suspend your disbelief. The whole movie is pretty far-fetched from start to finish. If you can believe that America is that easy to overtake and that a small town seems to be of real importance to an invading force, then you can probably believe that the country's armed forces seem pretty powerless to do anything about it, leaving it to the kids to save the day.

The transmission between ordinary high school kids and urban guerrillas is handled in a short montage soon after the invasion, showing us how they're now a considerable force to be reckoned with. However, this can probably be explained away by the fact that they are led by 'Thor' (also apparently known as Chris Hemsworth) who has a near indestructible pick-up truck. He gives them motivational speeches which make you want to thank your lucky stars that you live in a land of freedom.

It's all pretty cheesy and, although I may be being a bit flippant about it all, I actually quite enjoyed it. There are some pretty intense and dramatic scenes, mainly involving the carnage the invasion brings.

Ultimately, don't take it too seriously. It's daft, cheesy, over-the-top and desperately trying to get a sequel made, but if you can excuse and overlook its one hundred and one faults, then you might be able to get something out of it. At least it's short, so it won't take up too much of your time!
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Unnecessary Remake!
g-bodyl17 April 2014
The remake to the excellent 1984 John Milius action film is mediocre at best. It has some entertaining moments for sure, but this would have been better off not being remade. It is at its best when the action is going on, but at its worst during the build-up scenes. The premise of the film is preposterous, unlike the original film. Seriously, it's doubtful North Korea has the ability to overtake the United States. There are some serious flaws in the screenplay and that makes for cringe-worthy dialog at times, especially when they are trying to go patriotic.

Dan Bradley's remake of Red Dawn is about a group of teenagers who form a military group called the Wolverines with the motive of fighting the invading North Koreans.

The results of the acting is mixed, or at least that's what I believe. Chris Hemsworth does a great job here and I felt in line with his character. Adrianne Palicki also does a good job. Josh Hutcherson does okay, though he has done better. Josh Peck, however, is seriously miscast and does not belong in this film.

Overall, this is a mediocre film at best and it's just one step of being a film with that dreaded failing grade. It's entertaining at times thanks to some well-crafted action scenes, but this film could use lessons in the dramatic department. It's much more believable in the original film. They should have never remade this film, but of course they have to do the same exact thing but in a more modern period with North Koreans to boot. Not an awful film, but not too good either. I rate this film 6/10.
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