Fantastic Fest 2012: ‘Red Dawn’ is entertaining at least
Directed by Dan Bradley
Screenplay by Carl Ellsworth and Jeremy Passmore
Jed Eckert (Chris “Thor” Hemsworth) returns home from service in Afghanistan to Spokane, Washington. His father (Brett Cullen) is the sheriff in town, and his brother, Matt (Josh Peck), is the maverick high school quarterback. The morning after his return the family awakes to find North Korea invading. Jed and Matt and a group of high schoolers take off into the woods and quickly form a resistance group, dubbed the “Wolverines” after the high school’s mascot.
There is nothing unfamiliar about the Red Dawn remake. Even the rarely used American teens engaging in guerrilla warfare against an invading Eastern force plot device (one other instance comes to mind) fits snugly into the general disaster movie mold. There is fraternal bickering, inspirational speechifying, precisely two beautiful love interests, and otherwise wall-to-wall action. There’s no room for characters, only archetypes. There’s no room for dialogue, only exposition and inspiration. None of this is to say that the film doesn’t have its quaint charm, though.