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Review: Red Dawn

Nov. 19, 2012by: JimmyO

PLOT: When America finds itself under attack, it is up to a scrappy group of teenagers and an Iraq War Veteran to fight the good fight and kick some commie butt. Sadly THOR cant even save this one.

REVIEW: Lets not take into account all the inconsistencies in RED DAWN, the latest remake to hit theatres. Forget about the fact that even deep in the woods after several days a cell phone seems to continually have power. Dont even worry about how this ragtag group of clueless teenagers can become so skilled at weaponry and tactical maneuvers that they become more efficient than the Marines. The fact is a movie like this cannot be taken seriously in any way shape or form. You have to go in suspending all belief at the door. Yet it is very hard not to get over how bloody bland this by the numbers remake ultimately is.

Based on the 1984 film of the same name, America is invaded by a foreign power and it is up to a scrappy group of holdouts to take their country back. While many consider the original film to be a classic 80s flick, it is not necessarily a great film. However it certainly has a proud to be American vibe with a likable cast that is gung ho to go fight against the bad guys. The remake is a pale and lifeless version of the original, one that fails to conjure any honest to goodness patriotism. Sure the villains are different and it is not necessarily a shot for shot remake, but it is still no more than a cheap carbon copy.

Chris Hemsworth has proven more than once that he is a very charismatic leading man. Even here, as Jed Eckert an Iraq War Veteran he is actually pretty good. So why on earth would they cast Josh Peck an actor with absolutely zero resemblance to Chris as his brother? They could have at least tried to get two actors that looked somewhat similar. One can only hope that they at one point asked Liam Hemsworth to do it and he turned it down. Peck isnt necessarily bad here, he just isnt nearly as interesting as his on-screen brother. You almost have to laugh out loud when they mention sibling rivalry when these two actors are on-screen. This is a simple case of bad casting. It might have made for a more interesting pairing if one of them had been adopted.

Clearly Hemsworth was not the name he is now when they originally filmed RED DAWN as it has been sitting on the shelf for quite some time. Neither was HUNGER GAMES star Josh Hutcherson. However, Chris is able to illicit a little bit of compassion and life to his character. The same cannot be said however to Hutchersons dopey wannabe hero. Aside from THOR, the only other actors that stand out are the Marines that show up in the second half of the movie. This includes Jeffrey Dean Morgan who gives a solid performance, he and his fellow freedom fighters inject a little machismo and humor into this tired retread. Sadly, they are hardly utilized at all.

First time director Dan Bradley (usually credited as a stunt coordinator) doesnt have a whole lot to really work with. The script is filled with clichs and exposition, of course who knows how many changes the screenplay went through. The battle sequences are handled in typical fashion with jerky camera movements and tons of explosions going off. Aside from a slightly suspenseful sequence when the sky is filled with white parachutes landing on Washington state soil, there is very little that is remotely memorable here. Hell, even the main bad guy is a complete and utter joke. He has maybe two lines and is much too easily fooled by our heroes who we know as the Wolverines their high school mascot.

To say that RED DAWN doesnt work is an understatement. It isnt necessarily a terrible film, just a painfully dull and mediocre one. Aside from a couple of reliable actors doing their job, the characters are interchangeable whether they are the good guys or the bad. Where this remake - or reboot as the press notes call it went wrong is simply too difficult to comprehend. It lacks any sort of soul or fun, just explosions and dialogue that you can quote before you actually hear the line. This second-rate reboot is a dull, tired and unnecessary remake that youll forget by the end credits.

Source: JoBlo.com

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4:39PM on 11/24/2012

I didn't think it was that bad

It was somewhat entertaining. But then again, i'm not looking for flaws.
It was somewhat entertaining. But then again, i'm not looking for flaws.
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+1
1:57PM on 11/22/2012

The Rating is Off.

I will agree that there was some bad casting choices in the flick. I agree with many of the things that went into the review. It wasn't a bad watch though. The way they were trained wasn't terribly believable, but they showed them going through that training, so it works This review almost made me duck out of seeing this. My brother begged me to come along - both being fans of the original. I really hate to say what I'm about to say, but this was a much better watch than The Expendables 2.
I will agree that there was some bad casting choices in the flick. I agree with many of the things that went into the review. It wasn't a bad watch though. The way they were trained wasn't terribly believable, but they showed them going through that training, so it works This review almost made me duck out of seeing this. My brother begged me to come along - both being fans of the original. I really hate to say what I'm about to say, but this was a much better watch than The Expendables 2. Instead of ripping me apart for saying so -put a bunch of other assholes in those roles. It's so much more hokey. I think The Red Dawn remake should have at least got a 5/10. That is all The Expendables 2 should have received. Nostalgic value counts for something, but at some point we should just let it be.
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+0
3:09AM on 11/20/2012
I figured the movie would be about this. The original may be a classic in some other people's eyes, but it's a pretty bad movie with cheesy bad guys. Beyond the shocking opening of the invasion, the rest of the film isn't remotely endearing. Besides the idea of N. Koreans taking over the U.S., the trailer was pretty bland. The fact that they replicated the Wolverines is dumb to begin with, as that was never anything but far fetched.
I figured the movie would be about this. The original may be a classic in some other people's eyes, but it's a pretty bad movie with cheesy bad guys. Beyond the shocking opening of the invasion, the rest of the film isn't remotely endearing. Besides the idea of N. Koreans taking over the U.S., the trailer was pretty bland. The fact that they replicated the Wolverines is dumb to begin with, as that was never anything but far fetched.
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8:27PM on 11/19/2012
Wow I hate Josh Peck and Hutcherson's faces, I would probably throw up if I saw them in the same movie.
Wow I hate Josh Peck and Hutcherson's faces, I would probably throw up if I saw them in the same movie.
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7:44PM on 11/19/2012

You mean a movie shelved 3 years ago sucks?!!

No way! It looks awful, it's a soulless reboot and its expected to suck...
No way! It looks awful, it's a soulless reboot and its expected to suck...
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2:51PM on 12/17/2012
See it you wont believe it. Wolverines!!
See it you wont believe it. Wolverines!!
12:19PM on 11/19/2012

Seems like the same problem with most remakes/reboots

Soulless, no charm, no sense of fun, no quirks, no vision. Just dull and boring. Same thing happened with Total Recall, Nightmare on Elm Street, Day the Earth Stood Still, Clash of the Titans, Halloween (okay, this one had a vision but...still, yikes), Death Race etc, etc, etc.
Soulless, no charm, no sense of fun, no quirks, no vision. Just dull and boring. Same thing happened with Total Recall, Nightmare on Elm Street, Day the Earth Stood Still, Clash of the Titans, Halloween (okay, this one had a vision but...still, yikes), Death Race etc, etc, etc.
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+7
12:07PM on 11/19/2012

Around of applause to JimmyO

for jumping on the grenade for us on this. We've all seen the trailers and know how bad this was going to be. So to go and see it to do a review? Nice job.
for jumping on the grenade for us on this. We've all seen the trailers and know how bad this was going to be. So to go and see it to do a review? Nice job.
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2:43PM on 12/17/2012
You might learn something from this film. Be prepared. Wolverines!!!
You might learn something from this film. Be prepared. Wolverines!!!
11:38AM on 11/19/2012

You sure it's RED DAWN ?

Strangely enough, this remake looks closer from
TOMORROW WHEN THE WAR BEGAN
than an actual remake of RED DAWN...
Strangely enough, this remake looks closer from
TOMORROW WHEN THE WAR BEGAN
than an actual remake of RED DAWN...
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11:33AM on 11/19/2012
I'm really confused. I understand this was probably so bad after the re-shoot that it got shelved. That makes sense. Then why was Cabin in the Woods shelved right next to it. That movie was a lot of fun. What the hell was going on at MGM?
I'm really confused. I understand this was probably so bad after the re-shoot that it got shelved. That makes sense. Then why was Cabin in the Woods shelved right next to it. That movie was a lot of fun. What the hell was going on at MGM?
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12:49PM on 11/19/2012
actually, both this and cabin got shelved because mgm didn't have the funds to market and release them, but they didn't want to completely bail on them. the old management at the studio had really high hopes for cabin (less so for red dawn, which was seen more as quick way to get an mgm movie into theaters), but after the bankruptcy, one of the first things the new management did was sell both cabin and red dawn for a quick infusion of cash. curiously, they kept television rights to red dawn,
actually, both this and cabin got shelved because mgm didn't have the funds to market and release them, but they didn't want to completely bail on them. the old management at the studio had really high hopes for cabin (less so for red dawn, which was seen more as quick way to get an mgm movie into theaters), but after the bankruptcy, one of the first things the new management did was sell both cabin and red dawn for a quick infusion of cash. curiously, they kept television rights to red dawn, but didn't keep any rights to cabin in the woods.
3:53PM on 11/19/2012
Thanks. That cleared a lot up, but then what happened to this movie? Did the re shoot screw it up?
Thanks. That cleared a lot up, but then what happened to this movie? Did the re shoot screw it up?
2:54PM on 12/17/2012
The studio went bankrupt, they put to much into the movies. Wolverines!!
The studio went bankrupt, they put to much into the movies. Wolverines!!
+13
9:17AM on 11/19/2012
Would have been more entertaining portraying a group of Chinese teens combating a massive US/NATO invasion. ;)
Would have been more entertaining portraying a group of Chinese teens combating a massive US/NATO invasion. ;)
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6:34AM on 11/19/2012

damn, i was hoping it was good

I was really hoping for this movie to be good. Oh well.

As for the actors. why are they in this movie? Well Chris Hemsworth got this role (and Cabin in the Woods) before he got Thor, so this was just the next step in his career. Josh Hutcherson, every movie he's in, people thing is going to be his breakout role. When in actuality, his breakout role was Polar Express back in 2004. He has been working steadily ever since (Zathura, Bridge to Terabithia, Journey to the Center of the Earth,
I was really hoping for this movie to be good. Oh well.

As for the actors. why are they in this movie? Well Chris Hemsworth got this role (and Cabin in the Woods) before he got Thor, so this was just the next step in his career. Josh Hutcherson, every movie he's in, people thing is going to be his breakout role. When in actuality, his breakout role was Polar Express back in 2004. He has been working steadily ever since (Zathura, Bridge to Terabithia, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Cirque du Freak, Hunger Games). He's technically an A-list actor but people still dont see him as one. And Josh Peck, he's still trying to shake his Nickelodeon image. He was great in "The Wackness" but "ATM" was a bit of a misstep. He still has a promising future if people let him. This movie may be bad but i dont think the actors are the issue here (these 3 anyway, i have no comment on the rest of the cast)
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9:34AM on 11/19/2012
Cabin in the woods was fucking amazing.
Cabin in the woods was fucking amazing.
12:43PM on 11/19/2012
yes, yes it was.

but the point i was trying to make is that i've heard people say that Cabin in the Woods was a step down for Hemsworth career wise. Like this movie. When in actuality, he made both movies before getting cast as Thor. I think Thor was a major factor in getting these movies released after 2 years on the shelves each.
yes, yes it was.

but the point i was trying to make is that i've heard people say that Cabin in the Woods was a step down for Hemsworth career wise. Like this movie. When in actuality, he made both movies before getting cast as Thor. I think Thor was a major factor in getting these movies released after 2 years on the shelves each.
2:48PM on 12/17/2012
The two movies weren't shelved the studio went bankrupt!
The two movies weren't shelved the studio went bankrupt!
5:30AM on 11/19/2012
I wonder if Chris Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson really gave a dam* about this movie at all. Just the script alone made this movie doomed from the start. It's not the 80s anymore, Mr. Director of this movie.
I wonder if Chris Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson really gave a dam* about this movie at all. Just the script alone made this movie doomed from the start. It's not the 80s anymore, Mr. Director of this movie.
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3:18AM on 11/19/2012
As if we needed more proof that this was doomed from the beginning...it's a good thing Hemsworth and Hutcherson have proper careers and franchises now that this probably won't hurt.
As if we needed more proof that this was doomed from the beginning...it's a good thing Hemsworth and Hutcherson have proper careers and franchises now that this probably won't hurt.
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+9
2:04AM on 11/19/2012
Josh Peck is a fucking tool, they need not cast this idiot in anything again
Josh Peck is a fucking tool, they need not cast this idiot in anything again
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