Sunday, December 9, 2012

Red Dawn (2012) Trimmed Review

I have never seen the original Red Dawn, but I am quite aware of it; the “Wolverines” have earned their place in pop-culture history.  Because of this, I was able to go into my viewing of the remake, also titled Red Dawn, with relatively fresh eyes.  While this allowed me some objectivity, I can’t but feel that I should’ve seen the original first as I’m sure that it is leaps and bounds better than this remake.

Red Dawn is okay.  Not great, not terrible, but just okay.  It doesn’t aspire to be more than its paper-thin plot allows it to be.  For some reason, North Korea decides to invade the United States with some Soviet help.  That’s literally all we get.  Oh, and they used some form of an EMP that only knocked out our electronics and not theirs.  This lack of knowledge sort of makes sense, considering our rag-tag group of teenage and twenty-something rebels are living in the woods with little communication with the outside world, but that doesn’t make up for a lack of any reasoning or rationale on the North Koreans’ part.  The entire film is essentially just a series of small action set pieces interrupted by training montages…and none of it is particularly interesting or engaging.

The acting is a pretty mixed bag – there are some great people trying to do something worthwhile amidst a crowd of mediocrity.  Chris Hemsworth (pre-Thor) really tries to make something out of his role and is the only real highlight for me.  Adrianne Palicki, Josh Hutcherson (pre-Hunger Games), Isabel Lucas, and Josh Peck don’t really bring much to their roles outside of shooting at some North Koreans and running around.  Despite all of this mediocrity, I will say that the final action set-piece of Red Dawn was incredibly entertaining, if not altogether unbelievable (literally – I don’t believe they could’ve pulled it off), and was probably my favorite scene in the film.

Anyone planning on checking out Red Dawn probably already knows what they’re getting themselves into.  If they don’t, then they’re in for a fairly mediocre-to-poor action film with a thinner plot than the first Expendables film.  I would say wait for this on Blu-ray...then rent it for $1 at RedBox.

Red Dawn is a poor-to-mediocre action film that really isn’t worth your time.

The Bearded Bullet.

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