Red Dawn (2012)
Directed by: Dan Bradley
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson
Link to trailer on youtube.com:
The morning after a mysterious nationwide power outage, the city of Spokane, Washington finds itself caught in the middle of a serious threat, after the military forces of North Korea stage a surprise attack on the United States. As the city is swiftly taken under military control, a group of teenagers lead by off duty U.S. Marine Jed Eckert (Hemsworth), find refuge in the woods, where they tactically train themselves to go to war in order to defend and liberate their town from its captors.
Red Dawn is a action war film directed by Dan Bradley, who is best known for being a stunt coordinator and second unit film director for several notable films. His previous works include contributions to the Spider-Man, James Bond, Mission Impossible, and Jason Bourne series of film. The film is written by Carl Ellsworth, who had written the screenplay for the films Red Eye (2005), Disturbia (2007), and Last House on the Left (2009).
The film stars a cast of young talent with include actors Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson, and Connor Cruise, and with actresses Adrianne Palicki and Isabel Lucas.
After doing my research for this film, i had just found out that this is actually a remake of a 1984 film of the same name by director John Milius, which i am yet to see, so you probably wont find comparisons between the two here (originals are almost always better though, at least for me).
Anyway, i thought this remake by director Dan Bradley was okay but not quite. The film as a whole is probably geared towards a younger audience. The young cast keeps it fresh and current, but it’s also the young cast of characters here who kill a lot of the “believability” of the films plot. I mean come on, is anyone really gonna buy into a plot that has a group of inexperienced kids outsmarting an invading countries military force? It would have probably made more sense if this were branded as a comedy, so no normal thinking person would actually take this impossible plot seriously. It is a serious war film though, and it is what it is.
On a higher note though, the film is easy going and there is some entertainment to salvage here and you might just find yourself sitting through this from start to finish. It sort of reminds me of the film Toy Soldiers (1991), which was equally as entertaining because it also had that same kids-vs-hostiles theme. The whole experience is like watching a surprisingly okay B-movie HBO feature on a Sunday afternoon (if that makes any sense). Director Dan Bradley’s experience in stunt coordination is present in some of the nicely choreographed action sequences and shootouts, which are nowhere fancy and top notch, but just gives the film that little bit of entertainment value.