Monday, March 11, 2013

Red Dawn

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Red Dawn – 3 out of 5


The 1984 film with Patrick Swayze is a classic—and I say that with nothing but sarcasm because the original Red Dawn is cheesy as all hell. For some reason, in 2009, it was decided to remake the film and “because of financial troubles” the film was put on the shelf for a few years until it was finally released on the world.

"I plan on getting drunk by flirting with uglies guys for free drinks and breaking their hearts when
I don't go home with them tonight.  I sure hope nothing breaks my an
invading army or something."

North Korea invades America and takes over the East and West coast. In Spokane, Washington a young Marine on leave named Jed (Chris Hemsworth) is visiting his family when the invading army arrives. Jed and his brother; Matt (Josh Peck) flee to their father’s cabin in the woods (shit, Hemsworth has been there before) and ends up gathering with other teens and young people and begins to form sneak-and-strike tactics against the North Korean army. Eventually they join with a Marine (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) who explains to them the army utilized a special electromagnetic pulse weapon that was able to disable their defenses for the invasion and it is currently being held by Captain Cho (Will Yun Lee). They need to take control of that weapon and turn the tide of the invasion. But more importantly, they must hold their guns in the air and yell, “WOLVERINES!!!”
"We're being invaded by giant flying jellyish!!!  Quick, grab your hipster glasses
and butterfly nets."

I’m going to assume that the reason for the fact the film was not released when it was finished in 2009 had less to do with “money issues” and more to do with the fact that the movie’s plot was just sloppy and almost nonexistent (Sure there's all the evidence claiming MGM was in financial trouble but it was all an elaborate ruse). The film has great action sequences and enough explosions, flag waving and mild racism to get the average Toby Keith fan to jerk off with enthusiasm for the Red, White and Blue but overall, the movie is really “meh.”

"I grew this beard solely for war...may it never be shaved."

The acting is kinda what you would expect from a generic action film that really feels like a big budget Direct-to-DVD film. Chris Hemsworth (still starting his acting career when this was filmed) is decent enough but lacks the charisma that we will see in him later when he picks up Mjolnir and becomes the God of Thunder. However for the story, he does his job decently.

This single still can make all the world's ladies have to change their panties.

Josh Peck plays Jed’s brother Matt and his performance is such a mix of occasionally being really bland and then being a crying Emo bitch the rest of the time that I started to wish he was still the chubby kid from the Disney Channel so that his character would have provided some comic relief as his thighs and chins let out sweaty slaps as he ran away from North Korean forces. But all things considered, it could have been worse; Josh Hutcherson was in the film as one of the Wolverines and despite the fact he gets continuous work I have still yet to see a performance that warrants all the roles he gets (well, maybe Detention). Thankfully, and as if they are aware of how painfully bad Hutcherson can be if allowed to get lines and scenes, his role is reserved for minor storyline fill-in.

Peck is basically the male Kristen Stewart...only he cries more.

However, the funniest thing (and possibly offensive if you didn’t take into consideration that it’s Red Dawn) is the mild racism the movie showcases. First off, when the film was first underway, the Chinese were the invading forces but China didn’t take to kindly to that. During the time the film was shelved, the Chinese elements in the film were digitally changed (and if you pay attention, you can see how obvious these changes are) and the army was made into North Korea. I’m 90% sure that the Fox News viewers who went and saw this (and probably thought it was a documentary of what having a black man in office will result in) saw it and wouldn’t even understand that North Korea is a different country from China anyway..because of racism. And, like this is a horror film or something, if you were not-white, your lines were incredibly limited (and one just non-existent) and you have a 99% probability of not making it to the end of the film.

"But I thought that rule only applied to horror films..."

Then you have the amazing plot holes this film has…

The story goes the “fuck it” route for explaining pretty much everything. If would have been more believable to have a wizard just show up in the movie because that’s about as well as the film explains everything but the reason for the invasion. For example, they try and pass over the idea that because Josh Hutcherson’s character is a tech nerd (because they show him with a camera at the beginning of the movie and he says “podcast” and that means “nerd” to a Hollywood screenwriter) that he is able of making bombs. Shit…I’ve been on a podcast so that must means I can now make IED’s.

"And once I put this hat on I could fire a gun accurately from a mile away."

Then there’s the big glaring plot hole of how the fuck the Wolverines get in and out of the North Korean’s (I’m tired of typing that, can’t I just nickname them the Nokeans?) controlled Spokane. They show all kinds of security that includes frisking people coming in but they never show people get out. However, it seems the Wolverines are able to possibly teleport into town with all their guns, munitions and improvised explosives and get out like “it ain’t no thang.” Seriously, how the fuck did they get in the city with AK-47s and bombs? I guess the Nokeans are so good that they can take over a country in a single day but fail at doing routine border patrol in the areas they are in control over.
The film also never explains why R.E.M. drummer Bill Berry is in it in drag.

Red Dawn is about as good as the original—read that as Red Dawn is just a cheesy film that will either mildly entertain you or you’ll take it too seriously depending on how many guns you own and how often you curse that we have a black man in office—those types will love the movie and think it’s a warning sign of things to come. That could possibly be the thousand years of darkness that Chuck “The Joke” Norris warned us about if Obama was re-elected.

Running into battle one man took the time to grab a flag and not a weapon in the hands
of a dead enemy soldier.  No wonder North Korea invaded so easily in this film.

Sure the film has some really great action sequences and those scenes are genuinely cool, entertaining and fun to watch but the rest of the film is a sloppy mess of mediocre acting, some slight racism and a plot that feels like it was blown up by one of Hutcherson’s bombs and is now scattered all over the places. The film is far from terrible but equally as far from greatness. It’s worth a single-shot viewing but fails to achieve the reply value the original has. However, the replay value of the first one only exists because that one is so damn silly it’s just a blast to laugh at.

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