Saturday, November 24, 2012

Red Dawn Review

Did I go see the new Red Dawn because I am a child of the 80's and wanted to ensure the sanctity of a classic? Or did I go  because it stars my #1 dreamy man, the irresistible Chris Hemsworth? My motivation doesn't matter, but will offer some assurances to my fellow 80's purists-- they did it justice.

This film, set in Spokane, Washington, opens with interaction between Jed (Hemsworth) and Matt (Josh Peck) Eckert. We learn the Jed joined the Marines and left for Iraq following the death of their mother, and has just returned home without warning. Matt, the quintessential arrogant teen, treats his brother with veiled resentment... until the lights go out and North Koreans start parachuting in.

The invading force quickly takes over, murdering and abducting anyone that poses a threat. The Eckert brothers gather a band of rag tag teens, take to the mountains, and endeavor to become the "tiny flee that irritates the really big dog." They, of course, adopt the monicker "Wolverines" to take credit for their efforts.

The film gave enough props to the original, pulling key plot points as necessary, but gracefully developed a story of its own. The characters were a bit archetypal, and the acting was... well, lets call it adequate for an action film. Except Hemsworth, who was stunning in every way. It offers excellent pacing and action interspersed well amidst some very raw moments among the Wolverines.

I have only three complaints:
  • Anyone who has ever been near the Pacific Northwest will instantly notice that the movie was not filmed there. The location used was Michigan. Nit picky? Probably, but it was distracting to me.
  • It was about 15 minutes too short. I have this complaint about many action movies-- they worry too much about throwing in enough explosions, and cut out some strategic dialogue that would have taken characters from archetypes to seriously sympathetic. At just over an hour and a half, there was time to play with. 
  • Josh Peck annoys me. I am sure he is very nice, and he was serviceable at Matt. But his brooding was more mopey and someone needs to hold him down and cut that mop.  I don't believe you're shooting North Koreans with hair in your eyes.
So here is my advice-- go with an open mind. Don't expect a full on Red Dawn remake, but rather a nod to the original, updated for today's age. But go. Definitely worth seeing in the theater, where Chris Hemsworth's crystal blue eyes are so much bigger and dreamier! 

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a good movie. I'm a child of the 80's too so I think I'd enjoy the movie.