Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Red Dawn---My Review

I just got back from seeing the movie Red Dawn, which was released today after a significant postponement (Official Move Website). 

To see the official trailer, click here (Official Trailer)

For those who weren't aware, this movie was originally scheduled to come out last November.  In the version they originally shot, they had China as the villain who invades the U.S., but they realized after production that they stood to loose huge DVD sales in China.  To remedy that, they switched it so that North Korea was the villain.

This movie was done in a similar style to the Red Dawn I grew up watching, which was released back in 1984 (IMBD, which had a host of future celebrities in it, including Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Charlie Sheen, and Lea Thompson.

The new version features most of the same characters, with Jed Ekert (Chris Hemsworth/Patrick Swayze) as the leader of a band of insurgents, fighting the army that has invaded our country.  Matt, Robert, Erica, Toni, Danny, and Daryl are all still there.  The character known only as Aardvark has been replaced by a couple named Greg and Julie.

The movie was heavy on action, as you would expect. All of it was very well done, with good production work that looks much better than the original.

The theme of the movie was drastically different.  The original movie was really about the futility of war, and while there is a sense that the Wolverines are making a difference, the futility and attrition ultimately win out as two survivors escape to Free America.  Colonel Bella in the end has a chance to kill Jed (Patrick Swayze) but seesthe futility of that and instead turns away (and we never do find out what happened to Jed).  The new movie has a stronger sense of duty to fight the invaders, and the sense that they are making a clear and significant difference is portrayed in a much stronger fashion.  War is not portayed as a futile effort, but instead as an unavoidable and necessary effort given the circumstances.  The sense of constant danger is very well done as well.

The storyline was good, and much more developed than the original.  Among action movies, it was one of the deeper storylines that I've seen.  It was also an original storyline, and not a retelling of the original storyline (a.k.a. Footloose, which was redone in a horrible fashion)  I won't give away any details, but I will say they did a good job with it.  The ending fits with the theme of this version (I won't give it away, don't worry).  I will tell you that more of the Wolverines are alive at the end of the movie, though several have died, and the final battle surprised me.

The movie ended in a way were the possibility that the story could continue exists, and I wouldn't mind seeing the story continue.

I probably will see this movie again in the theaters, and Igive it 4 stars (on a 1-5 scale) for a movie of its genre.

Lastly, and most importantly...

The chair is against the wall
The chair is against the wall
John has a long mustache
John has a long mustache
(Yes, we hear those lines again)


Anna L. Walls said...

This is the first I've heard of a remake of Red Dawn. I liked that movie but found it unsatisfying. I'll have to look this one up now. Thanks.

David C. Drizzit said...

I have updated the post with a link to the trailer. As a kid, I loved the original, but I watch it now and it does seem a bit unsatisfying. The new version I think is overall better.