Sunday, 24 March 2013

#28 RED DAWN (21.3.13)

Re-make of John Milius  and Kevin Reynolds cult 80's classic Brat Pack movie starring Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, C.Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Harry Dean Stanton and Powers Boothe. In that awesome film, the Soviet Union invade Middle America and a group of high school kids become guerrilla soldiers and fight back. It's a fantastic film and very nearly fault free.

This remake stars a bunch of bland, generic, cover models taking the roles of the plucky kids, while Thor and The Comedian fill-in for Patrick Swayze and Powers Boothe. And because the Soviet Union is gone we have to make do with North Korean as the baddies. Frankly after watching this spineless, toothless, smug, satisfying piece of shit, I was really disappointed they didn't win.

In the far-superior original, we see the kids accidentally becoming freedom fighters and learning their trade, we see the self doubt of their actions and the brashness of youth. We see them, over the course of months, and through trial-and-error become jaded, guerrilla fighters and battle weary adults.

But that takes too long, so in this we get a quick montage scene, where Hemsworth, who's luckily a Marine on leave, gives the kids lessons in basic training and before you can say, what a load of bollocks, they're wiping out entire divisions of soldiers with IDWs and taking out tanks with bottles of Pepsi Max and a packet of Mentos.

Along the way, some of the kids die, so why not play the Red Dawn 'Who Dies First' game and try and guess who and when it's going to happen?

Also, because we now live in the 21st Century we need a love story and a whole new story where our plucky band of twats have to snatch a Macguffin from the Koreans, while emoting and pouting.

Gone are the well-staged ambushes of the original, the tragic helicopter attack that finally breaks the will of the Wolverines, the trial and execution of one of their own and the last ditch, suicide attack by Swayze and Sheen on the enemy head quarters that creates a legend. Instead, we get a series of action scenes as a group of kids fight North Korean army, killing only the guilty and two brothers bond. 

I was really looking forward to an extended scene where these stupid, red-neck cover models get captured and tortured in long graphic detail but sadly that didn't happen either.


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