American patriotism is at its shining best in this 2012 remake of John Milius’ 1984 cult-classic. Here, the Soviet Union and Cuban forces’ invasion of the United States is exchanged for a lethal threat from North Korea.
Having undergone troubled production (originally shot in 2009 on behalf of MGM, but subsequently back-catalogued until 2011 following money troubles), Red Dawn bombastically pushes family values, friendship and national identity, not failing in its basic mission to appeal to the American consciousness, but bombing dramatically in every other respect.
The fact that the plot is barely existent is not even the film’s worst weakness. In a thunderous aura of xenophobia, a group of teenage students become, with remarkable ease, trained guerilla soldiers so that they can defend their backyards from the North Korean bad guys. This modern age remake of post-Cold War communist fear revels in sci-fi absurdity, introducing us to a world where a country of just 24 million people, who are barely able to launch missiles, take down the United States of America almost in its entirety, enslaving its inhabitants and hoisting the Communist flag.
Good, though frenetic action scenes just don’t make up for the rest of the film, whose 94 minutes go by in a boring blur. The characterisation also lacks depth, with just a hint at sibling rivalry between main protagonists and brothers Jed and Matt Eckert (Chris Hemsworth and Josh Peck).
Directed by Dan Bradley (previously involved in The Bourne Ultimatum, Spider-Man 3, Independence Day and Quantum of Solace), Red Dawn almost offends the spirit of its original and is a laughable parody of a great 1980s classic.
Red Dawn will be released in UK cinemas on 15th March 2013.
Watch the trailer for Red Dawn here: