By: Jyllian Roach, Editor-In-Chief
Stuntman and first-time director Dan Bradley’s remake of the 1984 film “Red Dawn” sets out to be a mindless action film and it accomplishes that and nothing more.
The thinly plotted war movie is filled with well-paced action scenes and just a couple over-the-top moments. The special effects are used liberally but are not very well done. The North Korean paratroopers who descended into the town looked like a beginner job at best.
Those looking for a thought-provoking or light-hearted film should skip this one. Moviegoers excited by explosions, chaos, realistic war scenes and films that do not tie up loose ends will enjoy “Red Dawn.”
Chris Hemsworth (“Avengers” and “Cabin in the Woods”) and Josh Peck (“Drake and Josh”) play brothers Jed and Matt, who gather a group of teens to defend their town from the invading North Korean army, while struggling to form a brotherly bond that was broken when Jed joined the Marines in the wake of their mother’s death.
The ensemble cast, all of whom are more memorable by appearance rather than role, have great screen chemistry, but only the brothers end up with any character development.
The rest of the characters are just stereotypical cut-outs rather than people worthy of names. There’s the Love Interest (Adrianne Palecki, “Friday Night Lights”), the Damsel in Distress (Isabel Lucas, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”), the Ethnically Appropriate Kids (Alyssa Diaz, Julian Alcaraz), the Sensitive Guy (Josh Hutcherson, “Hunger Games”), and the Token Black Guys (Connor Cruise and Edwin Hodge).
There are also appearances by Brett Cullen as the Patriotic White American and Michael Beach (“Sons of Anarchy”) as the Spineless Black Mayor.
The North Korean soldiers are little more than vague stereotypes who yell a lot and kill people. The motives of the invading army and the device they use to shut down the power are never explained. A lone Russian also pops up in the film with a vague explanation and no dialogue.
The film is not worth the cost of a trip to the theater. Just wait until it pops up on Netflix.
Release Date: 11/21/12
1.5 out of 5 stars