Back in the 1980s when the original Red Dawn was released, Americans were terrified of the communist Soviet Union. In the new Red Dawn remake, it’s communists from North Korea invading Spokane, Washington. Thankfully, a group of kids, lead by Chris Hemsworth, are there to defend their town and their country.
Jed Eckert (Hemsworth) leads a band of four or five other young adults to fight back against the invaders. The small group of rebels treats their situation as the Vietnamese did in Vietnam. They use the knowledge of the land and their small group size to their advantage and attack the North Koreans where they think it will hurt them most. During their fight they eventually run into a group of three marines who are looking to help. This group is ran by Col. Andy Tanner (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) who tells them that communists have taken over both sea boards and free America is mostly in the plains and flat land states in central U.S. He continues to explain that the communists have used some sort of technology that makes all communication in the U.S. impossible and they only way to communicate with each other is using a special telephone that the communists possess, Their mission is to get this communication device so they can begin to get an advantage and have a chance at fighting back.
Red Dawn is by no means an amazing movie. It’s a remake of a film starring Patrick Swayze from 1984 and, while I have not seen the original, from what I hear, Hemsworth is no Patrick Swayze. Still, he is the best part of the film. He holds his own as the lead and is a very convincing marine. What stood out the most to me in this film is the imagery. The idea of an invasion on U.S. soil is incredibly frightening and Red Dawn does a good job of using imagery to put that thought and fear into the viewers’ head. The sight of communist paratroopers dropping into an U.S. city and opening fire is a dreadful thing. The action in the film was done well and it was great seeing the group band together to fight back against the communists.
The key is to suspend all disbelief for this action movie because much of it is basically impossible. Jed uses his military training to train the rest of his camp. He teaches them pretty much everything you would need to know to fight in a war and it seems like he is able to do this overnight. The North Korean take over was equally fast. The city went from a normally operating city to a locked down communist strong hold, including internment camps, in a flash. No one in the rebel group even looked like they had to live out in a forest over any period of time. For example, Hemsworth’s facial hair never seemed to grow.
Unless you’re into action and fighting commies, I’d say this one is probably best saved for Redbox, if at all.