REVIEW: RED DAWN
SYNOPSIS: In Red Dawn, a city in Washington state awakens to the surreal sight of foreign paratroopers dropping from the sky – shockingly, the U.S. has been invaded and their hometown is the initial target. Quickly and without warning, the citizens find themselves prisoners and their town under enemy occupation. Determined to fight back, a group of young patriots seek refuge in the surrounding woods, training and reorganizing themselves into a guerilla group of fighters. Taking inspiration from their high school mascot, they call themselves the Wolverines, banding together to protect one another, liberate their town from its captors, and take back their freedom.
REVIEW: The 1984 release of the original Red Dawn has been well overdue for a remake. In my humble opinion, Hollywood seems to have remade just about everything else and some not as good as the original Red Dawn. This begs the question and one has to really wonder what took MGM twenty-eight years to come up with something of substance and relevance. I guess one could speculate that coming up with a decent adversary for the freedom loving world would be a bit difficult these days, considering the current state of geopolitics. Nevertheless what we have here, in this updated product, is nothing short of fantastic. If one can put aside the DOD (Department of Defense) blatant influence on the film (It certainly plays out like an extend infomercial for the Armed Forces), then one would certainly be entertained by this latest release. It oozes with shots of adrenaline packed patriotic rhetoric and nationalism, but in this case that’s not always a bad thing.
It’s worth mentioning that Dan Bradley's (stunt coordinator and 2nd unit film director -Quantum of Solace) directorial debut resurrects this flick and it is a crowd-pleasing action thriller, by every sense of the term. The film essentially references loads of today’s war-time terminology and what we have come to know in mainstream psyche, such as “insurgency,” “EODs” and what-not… I guess in a sense these are just a few of the attributes that bring the concept of the flick out of the eighties and in to the twenty-first century and in good taste. It seems to have leveraged some of global hot buttons like the revulsion that exist between the US and North Korea (DPRK), etc. This in a sense adds to the film’s relevance.
The battle cry "We're the Wolverines, and we create chaos," sets the tone for this movie and really signifies all that is great about this latest release. The action is top-notch, and so is most of the supporting cast. The lead role is played by Chris Hemsworth (Thor) who is great as always. Adrianne Palicki (Friday Night Lights) shows more brawn and adds lots of spark like we saw from her in her previous flicks. Not to be overshadowed, Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games) holds his own. Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Grey's Anatomy) is also solid, but is slightly overshadowed by his hilarious compatriot who seems to only speak Marine and not actual English, though some may find him a little out there, to say the least. More notably, Korean American Will Yun Lee represents the antagonists really well with his cool, controlled charisma. He’s extremely believable in his role and makes for an excellent bad guy.
Overall, this modern day remake is quite entertaining and spews solid action that doesn’t feel censored. The strong cast is great and the flick even includes quite a number of funny moments. Needless to say, I would see this flick again and would give it four out of five stars for awesome action entertainment.
By Movie-Man Stan
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