Dave’s 4-Word Review:
Good Story, Bad Writing
In a world filled with remakes and reimaginings, we are usually given some kind of remake that we would expect out of Hollywood. Something that was hugely successful that we wouldn’t want to see die out. For the most part, this is what we see with Hollywood, even more so now than ever before. So, when we are given a remake of the 1984 film “Red Dawn”, we have to start asking ourselves if Hollywood is running out of good movies to remake, resorting to other…seemingly so-so movies. Well, just because this remake was unnecessary doesn’t mean that it was terrible. So how did it do?
This story starts off at a high school football game, where Jed Ekhert (Chris Hemsworth) returns home to visit his brother Matt (Josh Peck) and father (Brett Cullen) when planes flying overhead rattle their homes. Out from the planes drop hundreds of foreign soldiers that take over the town, killing anyone that gets in their way or disagrees with their ruling. Jed and Matt get away, along with a few friends, to a cabin in the woods, where they plan out what to do to get their home back.
There are elements to “Red Dawn” that make sense from the characters’ perspectives, but as a movie watcher, look lazy. For example, it makes sense that if foreign soldiers showed up at a random point in time, and we had to fight for our lives and our homes, that we wouldn’t know why this is happening, and we would just have to act. It is fight or flight here, without explanation as to the reason as to why these soldiers showed up. However, just because it makes sense from their perspective, doesn’t mean it makes sense from a movie-watcher. Instead, it comes off as a movie that is just looking for action, not story. The story is there, it just wasn’t explained well enough.
There are some decent action sequences in the movie, along with some fun CGI effects towards the beginning. Those two elements are not where everything falls short. The film, however, falls short at trying to get emotion across. There are some clear attempts at emotionally-required scenes that felt dry and filler. The actors didn’t react properly as they should have, which again contributes to looking like it was just going for action and nothing else.
These kids did have an emotional tie as a reason to fight back, but not all of the members had an emotional tie. It can be described as the other kids having an empathic connection with our main characters and wanting to help in any way they could, but again…the movie just didn’t take the time to explain this. As you can probably tell by now, the fault didn’t fall on the story, but of the writing. The story is fine; the person they chose to write the story, on the other hand, was the wrong choice.
So who should watch this film, and who should avoid it? Well, the first thing you should know is that this film was in fact nominated for a Razzie Award for “Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off, or Sequel”. Again, it may not have been a necessary choice to remake the 1984 film, but the story itself wasn’t as bad as some of the other films in the same category. People who love action should check this film out, because it has decent action. People who like stories and can distinguish hidden stories behind a bad script may enjoy this for what it was. The rest should probably avoid it.
“Red Dawn” comes to Blu-Ray and DVD on Mar. 5!