Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Brat Pack kills Commies for Mommies

Back in 1984, three years before they dazzled us with their sizzling ballroom moves in 'Dirty Dancing,' the late Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, along with other members of the 'brat pack' of the '80's (like Charlie Sheen, Lea Thompson and C. Thomas Howell) starred in this movie called 'Red Dawn,' which portrayed a scenario of America under siege, overrun by Russians, Cubans and their allies of the communist bloc.  'Red Dawn' went on to become a cult hit of sorts, not so much because it was a good movie but that it reflected American fears in a geopolitical climate of increasing tensions between the tough rhetoric of Ronald Reagan and Leonid Brezhnev.
So when it was announced over two years ago that they were remaking 'Red Dawn,' I could only scratch my head and say WTF???!!!  We're well into the 21st Century and the Cold War ended over 20 years ago!  After all, humanity should have evolved to a point where they don't settle their differences by killing each other, right?  All kidding aside, how were going to make this work?  Who is the enemy today that would rival the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact?  At first, they said China, but then China protested and, considering how much money they invest in Hollywood it became North Korea.  Yes, North Korea, with the '4th largest army in the world,' the country that couldn't even feed its own population and once every couple of years fires up its nuclear fuel processing facilities to extort money and aid from the rest of the world.  That North Korea.
Alas, I suspended my disbelief and entertained the notion that North Korea, which is doubtful of even capable of defeating its southern neighbor, can successfully launch an invasion of these United States and went to see this remake for 'old time's sake.'  Maybe they found a way to make it work, I hoped.  Well, I couldn't have been more wrong.  Despite all the rah rah patriotic talk of defending home and freedom, the movie lacked heart and soul.  This reboot of what was essentially an '80's propaganda B-movie was as ill-conceived and badly executed as just about every critic on Rotten Tomatoes tells us.  Even if we buy into the movie's premise and go along for the ride, the movie's numerous action scenes came out flat, uninspired and to put it plainly, a bore.
You can't fault 'Red Dawn' 2012 for trying to appeal to the young Twilight/Hunger Games crowd by casting Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Josh Hutcherson (Hunger Games) just as the original did with the 'brat pack' of the '80s, but unless you know you're going to like this movie before you even go to see it (and I doubt even that because that was exactly my attitude going into this movie), you're better off watching something else (like 'Argo') or save yourself a good chunk of pocket change instead.
Grade: D

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