Film review: ‘Red Dawn’
Wed, Nov 21, 2012 (midnight)
Released during the Cold War and marketed to teens, John Milius’ Red Dawn (1984) was a grand slam, a right-wing fantasy about invading Russians that celebrated the use of heavy artillery by ordinary American citizens. It didn’t even matter how implausible and stupid it all was. Today it looks like a pinnacle of daring compared to the comatose new remake. This time it’s the North Koreans parachuting into a small Pacific Northwest town, where Iraq war vet Jed Eckert (Chris Hemsworth), his cocky little brother Matt (an alternately smirking and slack-jawed Josh Peck) and various misfits, nerds and hot girls fight back. Dan Bradley—a stunt coordinator making his directorial debut—is clearly zoned out here, employing twitchy, trashy shaky-cam for all action sequences. Any possible pride in craftsmanship has been all but abandoned. If the North Koreans invaded and saw this movie, they’d probably just turn back.