Monday, November 19, 2012

REVIEW: Red Dawn

Red Dawn

Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck


November 21, 2012

Dan Bradley


1 hour 33 minutes



There are action movies like 'Skyfall,' for example, that succeed at being smart, fresh, and entertaining all at the same time. There are also movies like 'Red Dawn' that try to copy cat many other generic action movies and make it feel like it's 2 hours rather than 90 minutes. This film was supposed to have been released back in 2010, but the bankruptcy of MGM studios caused this film, along with many others, to be pushed back from both release and even being made. Now that it's here, it's sad to say that this film was a letdown. Sure it's a fun movie to watch, but there are more flaws than good things presented here. 'Red Dawn' started off fun, but ended with leaving the viewer wishing for something more.

Life is good for many in a small town in Washington. Jed and Matt Eckert are estranged brothers with a dark and traumatic past. Jed is on vacation from the Marines while Matt is the hotshot quarterback of his high school football team with a cute girlfriend by his side. On a morning of quiet and peace, the North Koreans, out of nowhere, decide to invade America and take the country hostage. Using his army skills, Jed helps Matt and several others who were able to escape the Koreans to fight to take back their home. Under the name "The Wolverines," Jed and Matt start up a rebellion that soon breaks word across the country, making them the most dangerous heroes in the country.

Since many of the cast members in this film have done many other roles after this film, one could expect that their acting wouldn't be as good as it is at this moment in time. Luckily, the acting is better than one would expect. Chris Hemsworth, who is best known for playing the superhero god 'Thor,' pulls off a great American accent and does a fine job in the movie overall. Josh Peck, best known for the hit Nickelodeon show 'Drake and Josh,' also gives a decent performance in the movie. He isn't the greatest actor on the face of the earth, but I would be lying if I said I thought he was horrendous in the film. 'The Hunger Games' star Josh Hutcherson, along with the rest of the cast, were highly underused and almost served no purpose to the film whatsoever, except to be the bait of the Koreans. Jeffery Dean Morgan is the best of the supporting cast, but he's only given about 10 minutes of screen time which is upsetting since he does have talent in there. The cast is fine in the film, but if you're going to see someone other than Hemsworth and Peck, you're bound to be disappointed.

The worst thing about this film by far was the script. While newer action movies tend to be smart and have interesting plots going on, 'Red Dawn' suffers from not only having poor dialogue throughout, but also is a very generic movie. There's a reason why this was supposed to come out in 2010, and the feeling of this film being dated is most certainly there. Had this come out in 2010 when this was supposed to, maybe I would have enjoyed the film more because it's just a stupid but fun action movie. But other than one scene towards the end that came completely out of left field and was really cool, the script is just as generic as any sci-fi, action, or thriller from the 2000's decade can be. There's too much talking in the woods and not enough cool action sequences. Plus, way to go for whoever thought of the product placement idea in the film, because it had to be the single worst use of product placement I've seen all year, which is saying something. Overall, if you're going into this movie looking for a smart action film, go see 'Skyfall' instead.

This is a film that could have been so much more than what it overall was: a generic, stupid, forgettable, but sometimes fun action movie. Sure the cast was fine for what their roles gave them to do, and the action sequences were really cool to watch on a big screen, but this film brings nothing new to the table, along with having a very unsatisfying ending that left me wanting a lot more. I guess the filmmakers were trying to set up for a sequel, but honestly what's the point? This is the type of movie that someone would find late at night on SyFy or some channel like that, and watch it with a bunch of friends for the heck of it.

The movie feels a half longer than its 93 minute run time, which is never a good thing. 'Red Dawn' could have been so much better than what was delivered. Re-shoots are supposed to help a movie, not make it worse. It's even easy to tell what scenes were re-shot or not, since Hemsworth wasn't involved with the reshoots. Despite a decent cast, some fun action sequences, and a surprising twist that made me appreciate the film more until it ended abruptly, 'Red Dawn' is just another remake blowing in the wind that doesn't have any impact on anything whatsoever.  It's probably good that this movie is a forgettable one, because that means it won't hurt the careers of the talented actors present in here much.

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