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Film Review – Red Dawn

Director: Dan Bradley
Screenplay:Carl Ellsworth, Jeremy Passmore
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Connor Cruise, Isabel Louis, Adrianne Paliki, Josh Peck
Genre: Action
Venue: Ster Kinekor Maerua Mall Cine 4
Rating: **

Dan Bradley’s Red Dawn is an attempt at a modern rendition of John Milius’s 1984 film of the same name. Only then the storyline was set in mid-west America, at the dawn of World War III, where a group of teenagers (The Wolverines) joined forces to defend their town and their country from invading Soviet forces. In the latest Red Dawn a group of teenagers join together to save their town from the invasion of Korean soldiers. At the outset, this repetitive script shows how sliver thin the plot is never mind the skewed propaganda that pervades the entire film.
Brothers Jed Eckhart (Chris Hemsworth) and Matt (Josh Peck) wake up to sounds of explosions by North Korean bombers and scores of parachuting soldiers in a hostile invasion. Under the leadership of Jed the group learns how to fight and shoot. The untrained teenagers are preparing to wage war against the highly trained North Korean invaders. From holding a gun to loading a bomb, the team learns the art of war. Their goal is simple, to rally up as much support as possible from the locals so that a proper defense can be set in place. They stage an attack but things don’t go according to plan when the hot-headed brother, Matt, decides to rescue his lady love, Erica (Isabel Lucas) rather than take part in his group’s attack on the Koreans. Not all is fair in love and war when one of the Wolverines group members loses his life and Jed blames his young brother maiming the already weak relationship between the brothers.
The movie plays on American fears. To date, there have only been two notable attacks on American soil: Pearl Harbour and 9-11, and Pearl Harbour was a few thousand kilometres away from the homeland. The movie therefore exploits these fears by presenting a conquered America. The Asian forces have developed a new weapon which has the world at their mercy. They invade America and infiltrate the political system. Like any good invasion the oppressors waste no time in spewing their own propaganda.
I don’t even know where to begin with this movie. The concept “bad” does not begin to describe what a flop this movie is. It is a remake of an 80’s movie gone beyond terrible. My excitement turned into disappointed thirty minutes into the film. Instead of being heroes the group is nothing but a bunch of vigilante teenagers, rebels without a cause. The shooting scenes in the movie are nonsensical and illogical rather than being intriguing and entertaining. They leave one at the edge of the seat not because of excitement but from anger of trying to get into a movie that is a waste of the audience’s time.
If there is any one to blame for this flop of an action flick it’s the director and writers. The actors work together to bring chemistry between the characters and some how manage to save face. Tom Cruise’s son, Connor Cruise is a good actor as much as he is as cute as a button. Though Isabel Lucas does not have many scenes she plays her role very well, but kudos to Adrianne Paliki who plays Toni. Her character is young, sexy, smart and strong.
And then they had to kill off Hemsworth’s character which just added more salt to the already gaping wound making the movie unpleasant to watch as he was the only reason why I was still in my seat. How Bradley, Ellsworth and Passmore got away with finding the funds to make this movie beats me. It is so terrible, its absurd. Red Dawn attempts to be an action movie and fails dismally. If ever there was an award for the worst remake of a movie, Red Dawn would win hands down.

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