Red Dawn (2012)
Director: Dan Bradley
Writers: Carl Ellsworth (screenplay) and Jeremy Passmore (screenplay), Kevin Reynolds (1984 screenplay) and John Milius (1984 screenplay), Kevin Reynolds (story)
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Isabel Lucas and Josh Hutcherson
When people take a movie to mean something completely different to what is portrayed in the film it really gets under my skin. Red Dawn has gotten a lot of flack because it has apparently incited racism in people (see this post). But the movie itself isn’t racist at all in my humble opinion. I think maybe it’s because I come from a generation where Tomorrow When The War Began by John Marsden was my favourite book series and the enemy isn’t described much at all I was never really cultured to be racist. It made me want to learn how to shoot straight and drive a manual car, but not to kill someone because of their race. However, apparently people are racist rather than actually understanding Red Dawn’s deliberate move to make it about political ventures rather than racism. Race is not the main theme of this film and anyone that comes out of the cinema making racist remarks incited from the film was racist to begin with and is just pulling at strings to justify their own racism.
The film takes place in our world, our time, with present day issues informing its setting. And like its original, the main “threat” to modern day America is those who would take down Capitalist America. The corruption of modern day America and Capitalism are the objects of the enemies fight, not the American people as such. The film is well constructed and the narrative flows well and keeps you entertained the entire way through. The acting is a little flimsy at points, especially when grand speeches are being made by the teens. All in all it was a fun ride and had a few surprises along the way. Red Dawn is an intense and deliberately fast paced movie, especially in comparison with the original. There was nothing about this film that made it stand out or made it the big remake that it should have been. The action is explosive but same-same.
I don’t know how people have come away feeling so mad at the North Korean characters, I feel angrier at the adults that don’t take a stand and wait for a few kids to take the charge than at the “enemy forces”. Also, unlike Tomorrow When The War Began, I don’t find the invasion of America believable. The fact that most Americans have ample weaponry in their homes makes me think from the get go: “Why don’t they just pull out their shot guns and shoot the closest invader?” But no one does that, which I find to just be bizarre for a country that is so trigger happy and insists on the right to bear arms to defend themselves. But hey, I’m an Aussie, what would I know, I’m not prepared for an invasion either.