The Dawn is Red Again
It's just a normal say in Spokane, Washington as the college game is going on and the teenagers head to the diner for a burger afterwards. Back in town is former marine, Jed (Chris Hemsworth) who along with his brother Matt (Josh Peck) and some friends flee to a cabin in the woods when out of nowhere Spokane is invaded by North Korean paratroopers dropping out of the skies in their hundreds. Observing what is going on, including the execution of their father, the local police chief, these brothers and their friends unite to form the Wolverines and take the fight to the North Koreans.
Now I have always said that if they remake a movie you like from your childhood/teenage years then the chances are the remake isn't for you but a new generation and as such I will say I have always enjoyed John Milius' "Red Dawn" and didn't think a remake would work. I say that because back in 1984 when Milius gave us "Red Dawn" he was making a movie for a teenage audience who having watched their parent's favourite actors such as Richard Burton and Roger Moore playing action heroes now had one featuring younger actors such as Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey and Charlie Sheen giving it the action nuts. Also back then those who would have watched "Red Dawn" probably had played at being action heroes with their friends in their gardens or playing on the streets. The world we live in now is very different to that where computer games have replaced make believe in the gardens.
But I will admit that Bradley's version of "Red Dawn" was better than I expected, not quite as entertaining as Milius' version but I can see how it might appeal to a new generation, and I mean might. For one it has the fresh stars of today which with Chris Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson is sure to score some fans of these modern day movie heroes. And secondly the action is much more explosive with plenty of CG enhanced scenes such as the initial invasion with the sky filled with paratroopers.
All of the above is fine and whilst Bradley stays quite faithful to the original movie he does switch things up with a different ending although I wouldn't necessarily say a better one. But here is the big question; is a movie such as "Red Dawn" what modern audiences want? Now whilst we have the likes of the "Hunger Games" the appeal of "Red Dawn" both the original and this is for kids who played being hero and taking down the bad guys with toy guns and weapons, but do kids still do that? It maybe why "Red Dawn" only ends up comparable to the original and not better as it didn't have an audience.
What this all boils down to is that the new version of "Red Dawn" is not that bad, it may have been made for a new generation but the basic sense of adventure and playing war hero still makes it a certain level of entertaining for those like me who enjoyed the original. Ironically I think its appeal maybe more for those who grew up on the action movies of the 70s and earlier than for the generation it was made for.