Director: Dan Bradley
Written by: Carl Ellsworth (screenplay), Jeremy Passmore (screenplay)
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Isabel Lucas
Synopsis: A group of teenagers look to save their town from an invasion of North Korean soldiers.
Remakes are usually under high scrutiny being that there is a base for comparison. There is already a set of standards that the film must meet to satisfy loyalists of the original, while improving upon it in a way that also manages to pay homage to the original.
This updated version of “Red Dawn” opens with an excitement that quickly dissolves as the film progresses. After a quick backstory, the air invasion takes place and I loved every minute of this scene. The intensity was high as they showed an army of paratroopers dropping from planes overhead into a familiar American suburb. That scene was unfortunately the highlight of the film because as things progressed there was a lot of redundancy with action scenes which took away from some plot details. Smaller intricate details about underlying agendas of the invaders, the invasion’s impact on America’s infrastructure, and the reaction of America’s allies were all thoughts that plagued my mind as I was bombarded with chaotic, unformulated action shots. Action films tend to be lighter in plot but most do have that twist that reveals the villain’s “true” agenda, which this film fails to deliver.
There is a lot of familiar, generic dialogue (as expected from an action film) and it tends to overshadow anyone’s ability as an actor as they fall into a role we’ve seen many times before. One thing that is shown is Chris Hemsworth’s abilities as an action star. He is a towering powerhouse that easily fits into the militant leadership role as seen in this film and others he has starred in. Although he is fun to watch in action, Josh Hutcherson was the most dynamic of the group in my opinion. His development from a coy and reserved teenager to a more courageous member of the group made him the most interesting to watch. The rest of the group served their roles but didn’t bring much of anything to the film. The rebellious younger brother, secret crush, and “sacrificial” members of the group were all necessities of the genre and nothing more.
This film had the potential to be much more than an action film. The subject is captivating looking from the outside, but once you dive in the plot quickly dries up. The progression of the film continually slows and by the end I was questioning what was actually accomplished. Although I tend to enjoy a good action flick and lower my standards for substance, I felt the execution of this film was just lazy and rushed.
Red Dawn – 5.0 out of 10.
A remake that doesn’t live up to the original…