Whether we as moviegoers like it or not, it’s a general rule in Hollywood that whenever a remake can be made of something popular in the past, studious will jump on that opportunity. Now, none of us would have a problem with these remakes if they were ever better than the original or even just as good as the original, but in most cases they fail to do so. However, between 21 Jump Street, The Amazing Spider-Man (which while some people hated, I personally thought it was better that the original Spider-Man), and the sleeper hit Dredd 3D, it seems Hollywood decided to release some great remakes this year so far. The original Red Dawn was a film that I had never seen until after I watched the trailer for the remake a couple of months back. Even with some of the problems that were present in the original, the remake of Red Dawn is definitely another film that can be added to the list of failed Hollywood remakes.
Based on the 1984 film of the same name, Red Dawn follows the story of the invasion of America by North Korea. In Spokane, Washington, a group of young people who call themselves the Wolverines retreat to the woods and band together. There, the group is led by Jed Eckert, played by Chris Hemsworth, a U.S. marine who trains them and teaches them the basics of guerilla warfare as they fight to liberate their hometown.
One major aspect of this film that cannot be ignored is the action sequences and special effects because, unlike every other aspect of this movie, they are simply fantastic. From the beginning sequence, in which the invasion begins, to the last few seconds of the film, anytime there was something exploding or a firefight happening on screen I was enthralled and honestly enjoying the film quite a bit. The action sequences kept me on the edge of my seat and were one, if not the only one, redeeming qualities about the remake. In terms of acting, while there was not much to praise (I will get more in depth with that later), Chris Hemsworth did a pretty good job. He spoke and acted like a man in the marines, and overall convinced me that if this were to ever happen in real life, he would be someone I would want to take advice from and even follow as a pseudo-commander.
While the special effects stun and Chris Hemsworth does a pretty sufficient job portraying his role, from there everything goes downhill and combusts at the bottom. Everything else about this movie is just plain bad. The plot is very jumbled, childish, and filled with more holes than a sponge, leaving the audience with so many questions throughout the film that I just eventually stopped caring halfway through (why North Korea? I’ll never know because they don’t explain it!). On top of this, the acting is abysmal. At no point did I believe that these individuals were in any sort of turmoil nor did I ever really care about any of them. The worst, in my opinion, would have to be Josh Peck, who attempted to play the rebellious and badass character in the film and failed at it miserably. In addition to the plot and acting, everyone in the film is made up to the point where they look like they are about to go to a photo shoot rather than looking like they are in a war, which detracts from the premise being believable in any sense.
Overall, this is a clear showing of a remake gone wrong. Although the actions sequences were great and Chris Hemsworth tried his best, these two positive were overwhelmed in a sea of a horrible supporting cast, an abysmal script, and a plot that leaves you asking questions in the most negative of ways. This is one of the most forgettable movies of the year and definitely something you should not be rushing to the midnight premiere to see. In fact, it’s not worth your money in the slightest bit, so just watch it when it comes to television if you have nothing else to do.
Review by Nick Franco