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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Red Dawn (2012)


Next time, just get actual wolverines to save your asses.

Chris Hemsworth stars Jed Eckert, the leader of a group known as The Wolverines. The Wolverines are a group of young adults/children who run off to the hills after the initial attack from an invasion by North Korea, and then fight off the opposition by using the knowledge of their hometown to their advantage. Same shit as the original, just a whole different decade.

As you all probably saw around last week, I reviewed the original, 1984 cult-classic of this movie and I have to say, it didn’t do anything for me. Yeah, I had a bit of fun going back to the golden-days of when we hated Russia and seeing all of these young teenie-boppers, running around and killing off Ruskies, but overall, was pretty lame and terribly corny. This remake/reboot/whatever the fuck you want to call it, is exactly like that movie, but instead, placed in a time where anybody, I do repeat, ANYBODY could call mommy, daddy, 911, secret service, president, or anybody, just with a click of a button. In case you can’t tell by now, this movie freakin’ blows.

I guess when you have material like this, you’re supposed to leave all rhyme, reason, or all sense of belief at the door and just go into have a fun time watching a bunch of teenagers go gung ho against the North Koreans. In a way, it works, but in other ways, it just doesn’t. Mainly where most of the problem for this film lies in the fact that it does change-up some of the happenings in the original a bit, but it still feels dull and unoriginal. It’s as if every scene in this movie, was meant to just be shown on there, without any real energy or zeal whatsoever and just have people wait-up for the next, big action-sequence that apparently was going to hold you over until the next burst of energy.

The problem is, the burst of energy comes from the hand of this first-time director, Dan Bradley, who just doesn’t seem like he’s fit to hold onto a whole movie, where action doesn’t take place non-stop. With most of the action-scenes, Bradley does an alright job and obviously has a bit of fun playing around with the bigger-budget and present-day setting of this premise, but everything else that doesn’t concern action, things blowing up, people getting killed, or bullets flying, he absolutely, positively chokes on, and chokes on hard. The characters all talk in this macho, deuchy language that does nothing to make us laugh and each and every one, didn’t even seem to have a personality that was worth recognizing or holding onto. I mean, I know it’s a bit of an obvious convention in of these movies to have a joker in the group that lightens everything-up with his comedy, but they didn’t even have that here. It was just straight-up seriousness all-around, and rarely did these kids ever live-it-up because any second, they could have just vanished. Actually, come to think of it now, there’s not even that much character-development here and worse, even though all of these characters are people you’re supposed to be rooting for, care for, and be upset for when something bad happens to them, by the end, you sort of don’t care and it’s surprisingly weird how the other characters sort of seem to feel the same-way.

For instance, a couple members of the group get killed-off during a raid and as sad as it may be, the sadness/melodrama only lasts for about a minute, and then we soon see Hemsworth and Palicki flirting their asses-off by a lake as if nothing ever happened to anybody, let alone to one of their friends that they became close with, just as soon as this terrible event occurred. If my freakin’ good-buddy died in warfare, most likely, no matter how hot the babe was, I would probably not be thinking about getting my “D” wet, especially if we were in a local-war with another country that just so happened to invade my little city. Not only is that bad, but the villains that actually take-over this little city, seem to be more focused on pissing off this group, rather than taking over the U.S., taking over the world, or even, taking over the universe. Nope, they don’t care about world-domination, they just care about getting in the hair of some kids that have AK’s, good looks, and some really, really lame dialogue. Go get em, North Korea!

I think it should be noted right now that this film wasn’t supposed to be released on Thanksgiving during the year 2012. Apparently, this was supposed to come-out back in 2009 but MGM went bankrupt, and apparently pushed this film’s release-date and it’s existence back to a latter-date. Sadly, the latter-date had to be now in the movie theaters, and not now, something I would have bought for $5 at Walmart during Black Friday. But this whole project being shelved for over three-years, definitely shows in a way that makes you realize that these editors, writers, and producers were just very, very rampant in getting this out there that the film comes off like a blubbering mess. I am no lover of the original movie, but at least that had some fun-spirit in it and felt like it was a movie, rather than just a couple of cool action scenes strung together by a huge-deal of melodrama. This one, doesn’t even have that and the whole-time, I was just bored, uninspired, and feeling less and less patriotic as it went along. Hell, in a way, I started to root for the North Koreans because nobody in this group had my sympathy of my feelings.

Actually, let me scratch that, because there was one guy who did happen to have my feelings and remorse for him and that guy is non-other than Chris Hemsworth. Hemsworth, as we have seen time and time again, has a huge-deal of charisma that cannot be overlooked and it’s such a shame that he was given such a shit-role like this as Jed Eckert. And even though the dude does try and in a way, makes us forget about the shitty script-job he’s forced to work with, you still can’t help but remember that this was filmed before he hit it big as Thor and made us all realize that he is one, cool mofo that will have you at hello. Okay, maybe I went a little too overboard with my man-crushness right there, but you get my drift. The guy’s got a heck of a lot of charm to-boot and it’s just sad to see him stoop right on down to this level of crap.

Playing his brother that has little to no resemblance to Hemsworth, is Josh Peck and as terrible as he is here, he isn’t the worst-aspect of this casting. I don’t know if any of you know this out there, but Hemsworth does have a little-brother, that acts, does well in movies, and even looks like Chris. His name is Liam Hemsworth and if you look at that link, you’ll see that the two share an incredible resemblance that would have made a lot more sense, had he been cast instead of skinny and unfunny Josh Peck. But away from the overall casting, Josh Peck still sucks major-ass here and made me laugh every time he opened-up his mouth cause he can’t be serious, he can’t be cool, he can’t be heroic, and he most of all, can’t be the starting-quarterback for his high school football team. Josh, just go back to eating so you can be funny and talented again. Please.

You have to wonder why Josh Peck was given a larger-role over a guy like Josh Hutcherson who has proven us, time and time again that he can actually handle big-roles, despite not having movies all about him. Here, he’s nailed-down to a role that makes him the dope of the group that can’t seem to do anything right and falls for all of the dumbest-pranks set by the group itself. It’s a pretty lame-role for a guy that seems like he’ll be taking over the teen-world very soon once Catching Fire hits the big-screen. And lastly, the only guy who really shows up here and makes us realize that he can take a shit-movie and script, and at least inject some fun into it is Jeffrey Dean Morgan as a U.S. Soldier who sneaks behind enemy lines. The guy’s good, funny, energetic, and also feels like he could and will, kill anyone that stands in his way. Pretty much the guy’s a bad-ass but the question still remains: Who would win in a fight? Thor or The Comedian? Still, waiting on that movie and hopefully they don’t decide to let MGM help finance it either, or it’s another 3 years we’ll be waiting.

Consensus: Red Dawn didn’t really have to do much to make itself better than the original, but it didn’t have to suck this much to make us realize how good that one was either. With choppy-editing, terrible-dialogue, and plot inconsistencies that will have you writing things down for days, you’re most likely just going to want and skip-out on this and see if you can find the original on Netflix and pay The Swayze some love and respect.

2.5/10=Crapola!!

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23 responses to “Red Dawn (2012)

  1. AngryVader (Erik) November 24, 2012 at 4:35 am

    Great review, Dan! You and I see totally eye-to-eye on this one. I only saw the original Red Dawn for the first time this week, but this remake is just a joke as far as premise, logic and character development. There was no reason for this remake to exist.

  2. ninvoid99 November 24, 2012 at 4:48 am

    Now that is how you a kill a film. I agree, this remake is a fucking waste of time.

  3. Austin 'BishopReview' November 24, 2012 at 6:32 am

    Ouch, I was expecting this to be bad, but not this bad. Great review.

  4. Ryan McNeely November 24, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    I’m just gonna go back and watch the original again. It’s crap of course, but it’s a solid part of my cinematic education back in the eighties. WOLVERINES!!

  5. Tim The Film Guy November 24, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Here come the North Koreans haha :D

  6. Caroline November 24, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Ouchie!! I loved the first on and had high hopes for Josh(peck) and Thor. I still will have to Netflix. According to your review, it may be available by Christmas. You had to be in the 80s to truly love the film!!! C. Thomas Howell, Jennifer Grey( pre nose job), Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen( pre cocaine) and Swayze. Awesome and no Tom Cruise.

  7. Fogs' Movie Reviews November 24, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Craaaaaaaaaapola. LOL

    100% right. :D

  8. Chris November 24, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Aww, I keep seeing this movie get torn to shreds by everyone, but I actually enjoyed it. XP

  9. Chris Reynolds November 25, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Well that is disappointing. I too enjoyed the original but looking at the trailers for this remake, I definitely didn’t feel all tingly inside. Great review! Now I know to wait until it hits Netflix.

  10. Evan Crean November 26, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    The good news is that it wastes very little time on character development: it’s maybe 10 minutes into the movie before the action starts. The bad news is also that there is very little character/plot development. Lots of things are barely explained like why the North Koreans even want to invade the U.S. and how they did it. Plus they go from snot nosed kids to soldiers over the course of a single montage with voiceover. However the thing that annoyed me the most was its use of macho speeches like you’d hear in Starship Troopers. People keep saying the same stuff over and over again, not necessarily because it’s badass, but mostly because it seemed like the writers were lazy. Like the one of the Marines says in the movie, Red Dawn is “Like a shit sandwich without the bread.”

  11. filmhipster November 27, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Too bad, I loved the original.

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  13. Ryan Hawbecker April 5, 2013 at 5:11 am

    I couln’t even tell what was going on in this film. check out my review http://www.ryanhawbecker.com/2012/11/red-dawn-movie-review.html?spref=tw

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