Film review: Red Dawn
THE 1984 version of Red Dawn, directed by John Milius, was a jingoistic action adventure of its time, for its time.
Released during the icy chill of The Cold War, the simplistic story of a group of plucky US teenagers fighting back against invading Soviet forces was a rousing call to arms to America against its military rival.
Fast forward more than 25 years and global politics have changed beyond recognition. Alas, Dan Bradley's laboured remake hasn't moved with the times. Shot in 2009 and then consigned to a dusty shelf when MGM filed for bankruptcy, this version originally cast the Chinese as the Communist aggressors.
Evidently, the filmmakers thought twice about vilifying a potentially lucrative market so in the intervening years, hasty rewrites and digital trickery have erased all mention of the Chinese and installed North Korea as the boo-hiss villains instead.
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This last-minute change renders Bradley's film nonsensical. Screenwriters Carl Ellsworth and Jeremy Passmore snigger in the face of plausibility, and they have no firm grasp of characterisation or dialogue.
Their hunky hero is US Marine Jed Eckert (Hemsworth), who returns home to to be reunited with his father, Police Sergeant Tom Eckert (Brett Cullen), and reckless younger brother Matt (Josh Peck). Bradley cannot disguise gaping plot holes or the script's ham-fisted attempt to splice global politics with action sequences and teen angst. The attractive, young cast deliver mediocre performances that are lost in the melee of explosions and Ramin Djawadi's bombastic score.