Review: Red Dawn (2012)

Suspend belief and pick up some popcorn for Red Dawn, an all action teen flick adventure.

Red Dawn is a remake of the 1984 film starring Patrick Swayze in the title role now portrayed by Chris Hemsworth. The film focuses on a group of teenagers who are faced with an invasion in their local town by North Korean soldiers. Hemsworth plays Marine Jed Eckert who is currently on leave and has come home. His younger brother Matt (Josh Peck) is part of the high school football team, has a beautiful girlfriend and some clear resentment towards his brother, which is explained as the film progresses.

However, Red Dawn starts how it means to go on. After roughly 8 minutes in the action begins and from then it is all go. The opening credits are used with a montage of news video footage to give the back story on why North Korea will be invading, but sadly this is lost on the audience. It all happens a bit too quick with too much footage so when the film begins you are left wondering why the invasion is happening. As the action starts swiftly you soon forget about this anyway and just accept it, all the while wondering how America is going to deal with it. By using a group of teenagers of course.

The plot line is far-fetched, not only from the premise that the teenagers can take on the North Korean soldiers but also by the fact that they learn all these defense skills in a blink of an eye. It’s never quite explained where the US Army is during all of this – no officials appear until near the end. The action sequences try their best to scream so loud in the hopes that no one will really be bothered about plot. The use of CGI doesn’t seem too overbearing and there are often moments of suspense.

Hemsworth does his brooding best as elder brother Jed who, because of his marine training, takes all the teenagers under his manly biceps to train. He teaches them all the skills they need to take on the soldiers so they effectively become the town’s resistance and only line of defence. His relationship with Matt is watchable and their rift over the death of their mother is explained as and when necessary but isn’t over played. Most of the history and relationships between the group is overlooked. This film clearly doesn’t want to pull away from the core – action only please.

Red Dawn is a perfect choice if looking for an action film for the boys, eye candy for the girls and not much to think about on a Saturday night.

Red Dawn was due for release in November 2010 but was put on hold due to MGM financial troubles. Clearly some of the stars had a great rise after making this, thus making now the perfect time to capitalise on their stardom.
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