I'm shocked by how many people have no idea that this movie is a remake. I've been walking around yelling "Wolverines" and no one seems to get it. Their loss. I'll admit that I never saw the original, but I know what it's all about. From what I understand, this 2012 version stays pretty true to the original story line, but it does have a personality of it's own.
Red Dawn follows a group of kids as they try to take back their small Washington town from an invading North Korean army. There are plenty of holes in the plot, and it's unbelievably unrealistic, but I enjoyed myself. It's not going to get any Oscar nominations, but it's worth a trip to the theater. Here are three reasons why I enjoyed it...
1) It's about 90 minutes long. There's no time for long drawn out scenes that hold no relevance to the plot. The movie starts with a bang and continues all the way to the end without giving the audience much of a chance to look at their watches. I can survive a few plot holes as long as I don't have to put up with a ton of boring scenes that lead to nowhere.
2) I like explosions. The action scenes were really well done. I go to movies to be entertained. Sure, I like to see an extremely well made film that can contend for an Oscar, but I don't always go looking for them. Sometimes I just want to sit back with a bucket of popcorn and forget about real life for a bit. Red Dawn gives you that opportunity. It's pure action and entertainment from start to finish.
3) It doesn't pretend to be something that it isn't. The directors/producers/screenwriters all seem to have been well aware that this was going to be a fluff movie, and there's nothing wrong with that at all. There's no real underlying theme that's trying to be pushed on the audience (outside of a feeling of patriotism). I like that they kept the 80's sort of feel. It gave me the same feeling that a movie like Goonies or Toy Soldiers gave me back in the day, and I loved it.
There was one thing I didn't like. As a whole, the cast was great. Chris Hemsworth was great as Jed, and Adrianne Palicki did a fine job as Toni, but Josh Peck was awful. He plays Jed's younger brother Matt. You might recognize Josh from Nickelodeon. I wish they had cast a different person as Matt because Peck did not fit the role in my mind.
Ultimately, Red Dawn will make a great Saturday afternoon movie on FX, but you certainly won't feel like you wasted your money if you decide to head to the theater. I certainly enjoyed myself. WOLVERINES!!!