Let’s get this review started off proper, real respectable like – this movie is dumb. It is completely implausible, it’s something that will never happen, it’s a remake of an only slightly above average movie that didn’t even need to be remade, and it really just, doesn’t need to exist. Yet here it is, and there it was, taking my $6 last night. And you know what? Dammit it if it wasn’t a good ol fashioned gay ol’ stupid time. So the premise of this completely implausible movie, if I need to give you one, is this – a bunch of pretty people, you can see most of them in that poster there but it doesn’t feature the pretty mexican girl with big boobs or the token black guy in there with them – but they are led by pretty much the king of scruffy looking pretty people, Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth. I don’t know what it is over in the water there in Australia, but these Hemsworth kids are all over the place in ass kicking roles lately, and since a lot of the action greats are getting up there in age these days – although certainly still kicking ass, we need some new dudes to step up, and these guys have done nicely – his bro is even in Expendables 2. But naturally, to have an action great, that doesn’t mean they need to play in great movies – right, Jean Claude Van Damme? And this Red Dawn is by no means a good movie. Like, at all.
So the insane premise of this movie, and I’ll give it credit for getting RIGHT to the point with it, possibly the only movie that gets into the action faster was the remake of the movie Poseidon – another unnecessary one by the way, but hey, this is Hollywood, where original ideas ceased to exist QUITE some time ago. But in Poseidon it was seriously like, beginning credits, a guy yells “oh S*** dude, theres a giant ass wave thats gon’ hit our ship, what do we DO?” BAM ship is hit by wave, chaos ensues next two hours. Hey at least it knew what it was, and so does this movie. Within about five minutes we get a (badly done) cgi invasion of this nice little town in Washington, with Korean troops parachuting all over and jets flying hither and thither. See the original had the Soviets, cuz it was made in the 80s, pretty much at the height of the cold war and all of us still being afraid of them pesky commies. Well this one had to have a different hot button issue, since we don’t hear a whole mess about those cranky soviets except come Winter Olympics time (they sure do dominate figure skating, don’t they? Oh crap, giving away another passion of mine, and I have girls to impress! Back to the review, quick like!), so they switched everything over to those damn North Koreans this time. Of course everyone hates North Korea, we don’t know what the hell they are doing over there, but we are sure they are up to no good! We are treated with a montage of clips that various people of power have said about those nefarious Koreans at the beginning, so of course, we KNOW they are no good. And we are given the stereotypical evil looking general Korean guy to hate almost right off too. Like I said, at least this movie knows what it is.
Here’s two more pretty people for you to look at, you may recognize Peeta from The Hunger Games there, a far superior movie to this one. But anyways, so yeah, the stuff hits the proverbial fan quickly, and in a nice montage about fifteen minutes in, Jed – played by Patrick Swayze in the old one, by Thor in this one – has himself a ragtag group of kiddies that magically know how to handle themselves in a fight and are comfortable shooting big mean guns even though they had probably never seen one until about a day ago. But hey, it’s all fine – because we’ve already seen some good action stuff and things blowin’ up real good, and we know there will be more. And there certainly is – you can tell that the director of this movie was a stunt coordinator before this – and stunt coordinator he was with a VENGEANCE, because one look at his credentials there will show you that he’s coordinated stunts on over 100 (!) movies, some of them fairly big, too. So good for him, gettin his own movie and all – but he forgot about plot for a big chunk of this movie, and focused on the fussin’ and the fuedin’ instead. But like I said, I never said I had a bad time with this movie, I didn’t. But come into this expecting to be thinking about it two days later, or talking about it with your friends, aside from saying “OH MAN REMEMBER THAT ONE SCENE WITH THE TANK, DUDE. OR DUDEMAN, REMEMBER WHEN THEY BUSTED OUT THE ROCKET LAUNCHERS?!” to which your friend would ask “um, which time?”, then you have come to the wrong place. This is popcorn schlock at its finest.
I gotta bring up one more thing about why this reason isn’t even going to reach cult status like the previous one though…and it’s because of this idiot. Just look at him, look at his stupid face, that gap jawed yokel look in his eyes. How did he even become an actor? His name is Josh Peck, and while I sing the praises of many actors and actresses (ok I’ll admit it..mostly actresses) on my fine site here, this will not be one of them. Most of his lines are delivered with that same douche-in-the-headlights look he has here, and he has no redeeming qualities as a character, he is just there to be Jed’s brother. I wish he would have gotten shot or blown up within the first five minutes, but instead we are stuck with him throughout this movie. This role was played by Charlie Sheen in the old one, and while he is a washed up tool now, he wasn’t half bad in the 80s, and he did a MUCH better job playing the brother role than this jackass did. He doesn’t bring this movie down to unwatchable levels, because like I said its all just good ol’ escapist fun, but man, if you see his name in top billing for any movies coming out later, might want to check the reviews first, and probably stay away. Cuz, yikes.
What more to say about this one? Pretty people mostly succeed, evil is thwarted. Of course it has to be. There are some slightly racist comments and portrayals in here, and some grand stereotyping too, but hey, the original had that in spades as well, gotta stick with the source material, right? The rebels in this movie call themselves “Wolverines”, quite possibly THE most cliche thing to call a group of people, and hey why not, that’s based off of their high school football team name. But enough bashing – I’ve mentioned a couple times I had a good time watching this, and I did. Some things blow up real good, more people get shot in a PG-13 movie than I have ever seen before, Thor does the best he can with the source material, and the eye candy is just fine too. Good to see the absolutely beautiful girl from Transformers 2 (the one that wasn’t Megan Fox) getting work still, this time as a (surprise!) cheerleader. There are certainly worse gorgeous actresses out there than the two in this movie to be sure. So here’s the conclusion – if you like to watch mindless action movies with lots of things blowin’ up real good, hardly any story (and whats there is completely implausible), and lots of people getting shot – you could do far worse than this movie for your money, it’s escapism at its highest level – even more so than that second Taken movie, which at least had a decent story. But, if you are into the indies, the movies that make you think, and you think that cinema is one of our highest forms of art – spoiler alert, I think that, but I also can appreciate movies like this one, as well – you should probably stay far, far away from this one. It’s also impossible for me to give this movie anything higher than two stars too, because, well, haven’t I made that clear why I have to do that already in these 1400 words? I’m pretty sure I have.