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Bad Movie Tuesday: Red Dawn (2012)

March 19, 2013

Red Dawn movie poster

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The poster reminded me of this amazing moment from The Trip.

The remade Red Dawn hurts the soul. It is the kind of film where everything moves really quickly while there is zero story, character or plot development. You know nothing about the characters or the villains and after the story can’t name any of the people involved. If I had to explain this film to somebody I would say “Thor, Peeta, Tyra from Friday Night Lights and the blond lady from Immortals run around the woods and occasionally engage in combat.”

Red Dawn Lucas

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Red Dawn is forgettable bad and the blame will rest upon a studio wanting to make a few remakes dollars.  The best part about this film is that none of the actors will be blamed for the badness. Red Dawn seemed doomed from the beginning. The script hurt, the action bland and the film was shot in 2009 and sat on the shelves till 2012.  In that time all of the actors moved on to bigger and better things while the film was tinkered with in the editing room. The 1984 original propelled Charlie Sheen, Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, C. Thomas Howell and Lea Thompson to long careers and the 2012 remake won’t be any different. The best thing is that everybody seemed indifferent to it and critics didn’t dog pile it like they did with better films Battleship or John Carter. 

Red Dawn Chris Hemsworth

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The story centers around a team of good-looking people who learn to fight North Koreans via montages. The well-trained unit called The Wolverines starts battling a well oiled military machine and in the process many things blow up, some Wolverines die and a suit case full of something important is targeted. The hair is always well quaffed and nothing feels dirty, dangerous or guerrilla. I haven’t watched the original in a long time but I remember feeling the isolation, cold and danger while they battled the Russians. The stakes felt real in that film and that is why it is a cult classic that is relevant enough to be remade.

Red Dawn Adrianne Palicki

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The 2012 Red Dawn debacle is a shame because the Wolverine’s are made up of some fantastic actors. Adrianne Palicki, Josh Hutcherson and Chris Hemsworth have proven themselves in much better material. They could have done wonders with a good script and real stakes. MGM wasn’t happy with the material too. They spent millions of dollars using CGI to switch out the Chinese flags with North Korean flags. The reason for this was to expand their global box office and not piss off a worldwide powerhouse. The problem with the switch is that you have no idea what the threat is. Are they just attacking the town? Is the entire United States under attack? Who delivers the hair gell and leather jackets? Why do random Russians pop up?

Another sad thing about this film is that director Dan Bradley is a famous stunt man who finally got to direct a big action film. He has worked on Independence Day, Jackass, Bourne Supremacy, Bourne Legacy, Spider Man 3, Crank, Spider Man 2, Sea Biscuit, Swordfish and Panic Room but still couldn’t film a decent action scene as a director.

Red Dawn crew

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Skip Red Dawn. You’ve seen it before and you will see it again. If anything it should be an interesting case study on how to make the best of the badness.

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