I’m not going to lie. I enjoyed the hell out of the original Red Dawn, back in 1984. The cast was good, the story was one that hit home with everyone at that time (The Soviet Union invading? Yeah, it was possible back then.) and the flow of the movie was good…not too much action, not too much drama, and pretty much no fluff.
That’s how I like my movies…fluff free. So how did the reboot of the film stack up?
The first thing I need to say is that this isn’t just a straight up regurgitation of the original movie. The script is clearly different, the times are obviously updated and the enemy is no longer the USSR. This time around it is a radical North Korean regime which took power after the death of Kim Jong Il. The beginning of the movie breaks down how the regime has attacked a number of other countries and has grown tired of America’s involvement in global politics and policing.
From there, some parallels begin to emerge. Clearly we can’t have an invasion movie without an invasion and that happens very early on in the film. From there, the lead characters escape from town, learn to live on their own and then decide that it’s time to take up arms against the bad guys. So far these are all obvious plot lines because we can’t have a movie about an insurgency without having an insurgency.
Those parallels, plus the fact that the characters share many of the same names, and the fact that the local high school football team is called the Wolverines, which the insurgents take on as their own name, and the basic concept of the original movie are the biggest parallels. Sure there are other parts but I’m not going to spoil it for you by telling you all about it. People get punched in the face for that sort of thing, where I come from.
What I will tell you is that I enjoyed the movie, overall. If you’ve read any of my past reviews, you’ll know that I am a big fan of gunfights, explosions, kung-fu and boobies. I hate to disappoint by telling you that you’re not going to see any boobies in this one but I will tell you that you’ll get to see lots of gunfights and many, many explosions. There’s also a bit of hand to hand combat included and that’s basically kung fu so we’re already adding up to a pretty good score. Unfortunately, the movie was a bit predictable…Their use of foreshadowing is more like “fore-pitch-black-of-night-ing” and the overbuild the tension in some areas so they give away some of the plot turns. I also thought the ending was incredibly abrupt, which didn’t sit very well but I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy the movie, because that would be a lie.
It’s just not what I’d hoped for after waiting for ages to get to see this one.
Maybe the re-remake in 2040 will be a bit better. Until then, this one will at least sate your appetite a little.