Thursday, April 11, 2013

Review 149: "Red Dawn (2012)"

I'm back. And I brought an awful movie with me.

Dawn of the Brain Dead

      Ugh. After a nasty cold and then a massive week of basically all of my school work appearing on my desk all at once, it's nice to have my first movie review back to be of a movie that would have earned a well-deserved spot on the worst list of 2012 had I seen it before the year ended. A remake of the original 1984 film Red Dawn, this 2012 version is directed by Dan Bradley and written by Carl Ellsworth (The Last House on the Left (2009)) and Jeremy Passmore (Special), the film follows brothers Jed (Chris Hemsworth, A Perfect Getaway) and Matt (Josh Peck, Drake and Josh) as they team up with friends Robert (Josh Hutcherson, The Hunger Games), Toni (Adrianne Palicki, Wonder Woman), Erica (Isabel Lucas, Daybreakers) and soldier Tanner (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Watchmen) in order to stop Captain Cho (Will Yun Lee, Total Recall (2012)) and the rest of his army after North Korea invades the US.

It's a really good thing this came out
after Thor.
Yeah, No

      The problem with remaking the original Red Dawn was that it the original was a thing of it's time. Tensions with Russia and the gung-ho patriotism of the time lead to the film being able to somewhat work. Now, the whole thing is just plain silly. The idea that out of all the threat out there now, it's North Korea that gets the drop on us or anyone for that matter is almost laughable. The idea that the audience is going to believe that no other country would try to retaliate is almost insulting. Yes, I am aware that the film's villains was originally going to be China, but the film handles the change poorly. It's not re-edited well and it has the problem of entering the gate dated, seeing as how the film was actually filmed in 2009 and was set to be released in 2010. The film expects the audience to sit back and treat it like a dumb action movie, however it still tries to tell a serious story. And I seriously can't believe that anyone would look at this movie and take it's  presentation seriously. It look cheap and the acting is almost entirely awful from everyone involved, talented people now included. Even the action, directed by an experience stunt director, feels forced and boring. It's some 'splosions and gunfights. No one could have been bothered to try even come up with more that one fight scene. It's just the same one every single time. Blow up car, shot some guys, take something important. Repeat for an hour and a half.

Act Like You Mean It

      But by far the biggest problem of the film is it's almost ludicrously bad characters. Seriously, these are some of the worst characters I have even seen committed to film in a long time. Similarly to the G.I. Joe problem last week, the characters aren't developed enough to be believable heroes. This movie apparently never got the "Show, Don't Tell" memo. After a quick montage, we are told that these "heroes" are now excellent fighters? Nope. Not buying it one bit. I have a hard time believing these kids could lead a soccer team together let alone a revolution. We are told they are they ones who started the revolution. Seriously? All these people who own guns in America and it's a group of teenagers from a small town in Washington that gets the ball rolling? Maybe invading us is easier than I thought. Special notice however, must be given to Josh Peck. In a film full of bad acting, he single-handedly delivers the single worst performance of 2012 and of all time. His character is so thoroughly unlikable that you'd wish he'd die an excruciatingly bad death, like bamboo torture or having to watch his own performance back over and over again. This is "Should Never Act Again" bad. He has two way of delivering his lines. Shouting like someone just ran of his foot with their truck. Or, hilariously bad fake sincerity, which consists entirely of whispering and squinting his eyes. It makes his character all the most worse. Seriously, in 2013, I think we could do away with the characters like his. "Oooh, America's been invaded, my parents are dead, my entire country's been taken hostage, our government has fallen. But who cares about that? I miss my girlfriend and I what to see her. Why doesn't anyone care about my problems? Everyone else is a jerk." A good actor might at least make the character tolerable, but Peck just makes us want to see him get slowly run over by a steamroller even more than we already do.

I like to imagine this is how the
G.I. Joes get started.
The Verdict

      Do I even need to say it? Red Dawn is one of the worst films of last year and the worst action film of the last few years. Careers would be over if this came out when it was supposed to. The acting is terrible and the film looks cheap. It's so horrendously boring that even it's non-stop action can save it. Most;y because is non-stop action is poorly choreographed and filmed, making every action scene look the same and the film all the more boring. Josh Peck especially shot be humiliated for this film, delivering a career-ending performance and playing one of the most despicable characters on last year. Red Dawn should have stayed on the shelves. The story's expired. Red Dawn (2012) gets 1 star out of 6. 


  1. Nice review Alex. A pretty shitty movie that's only significance in the world might be the fact that North Korea may actually commit this one day. Might day.

  2. Professor ShayamalamnimApril 12, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    Yes!!!! Remake All the 80s movies!

    Total Recall, Red Dawn, hey why not Remake Back to the Future or Rambo again?

    Because those worked so well.