Red Dawn

Released on November 23, 2012 0 comments

Back in the 80’s during the dying flames of the cold war, Hollywood loved to trot out scare-flicks featuring moderately normal Americans thrust into service to save the nation from communist aggressors, ones who somehow had the nerve to try and roll up on us from our own terra firma.

Our favorite was a laughably silly thing called “Invasion USA,” where a few boatloads of Russian and Cuban Commandos come ashore in Florida a few weeks before Christmas to start a campaign of terrorism against a country of some 250 million people. To show their might, the invading douchebags use Laws Rockets and other loud toys to blow up a neighborhood, taking out cheesy decorations and killing as many carolers as possible. This infuriates Everglades retiree and ex-badass Chuckie Norris enough to get into the fray, but only after the idiots blow up his house and almost kill his Armadillo. Invasion is filled with memorably classic good/bad scenes, including a car chase/gun battle through a busy shopping mall full of Santa shoppers and oversized decorations.

On the other end the spectrum was the original “Red Dawn,” with a young Patrick Swayze leading a group of teenagers into the freezing mountains in preparation for battle against a sizeable battalion of the Red Army, one which has taken control their town. The 1983 Soviets are all one-dimensional hard cases, bent on all-out assault against the Stars and Stripes. Unfortunately, they resemble a pod of plump, woth of the border weekend warriors, certainly not the steel-edged turf-chewers we’d come to expect from the Ruskies. Their fitness for duty might be why they are thwarted by the smarter, rag-tag, down-jacket wearing ninja teenagers, all of whom take themselves as seriously as the pathetic script. Realism was in short supply here.

So even with a new cast of mutts, we can’t imagine the updated version will be an improvement.

Leading the 2012 charge, and thankfully ditching those red tights, is Thor’s Chris Hemsworth, who spits enough patriotic cornball angst to last the next three Presidential elections. Beyond him, the rest of the cast is comprised of first-timers and no-names, including the son of Tom Cruise. (But hey – we’re sure he had to test.)

The baddies have been upgraded to North Koreans, an easy fix as they are the current Evil Empire.

With awful remakes like this, it’s all paint-by-numbers with lame action. It comes out Thanksgiving day and should do a little business, though with “Lincoln” going wider and the excellent new installment of James Bond still raking it in, as well as the fembot vampires taking their cut, we expect “Red Dawn” to fizzle faster than Jonah Hill’s diet.