Anyone remember Red Dawn? It’s not surprising if you don’t; it was one of those 80’s films that humanity has filed away, along with Howard the Duck and Mannequin, in a lead-lined box with the words “LET’S NEVER SPEAK OF THIS AGAIN” stamped on the lid in huge black letters. It probably went to the same warehouse where they took the Ark at the end of Raiders.
In a nutshell, Red Dawn starred pretty much every star of the 1980’s – Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Lea Thompson, even a young Charlie Sheen – as high-school students who take up arms when America is suddenly invaded by the entire Soviet Union all at once. It was the epitome of Cold War propaganda, and it was also laughably bad.
And now, because Hollywood wouldn’t recognise a bad idea if it jumped up and bit their backsides, Red Dawn is getting a shiny new remake, the first trailer for which has recently been released.
Of course, there have been some changes made – the Wall came down a long time ago, after all. Now we have a whole new cast of ridiculously good-looking leads, including Chris Hemsworth, the God of Thunder himself; Josh Peck of Drake and Josh fame, and Josh Hutcherson, who apparently starred in a small-budget film called The Hunger Games.
The other big difference is, of course, the enemies – Russian bad guys are so Call of Duty. This time around it’s those pesky North Koreans who are taking on the last big superpower, because even though they can’t get a rocket to launch properly it’s entirely feasible that they could launch a sneak attach on the entire United States all at once.
Except it wasn’t always the Koreans. Reports indicate that in the original script it was China who served as the antagonist, but that this was changed to make the threat more “credible”. Or, more likely, because they didn’t want one of the world’s most populous countries boycotting their film and losing them money. So the enemy flags were
“digitally altered” from Chinese to Korean, and hey presto, you’ve got yourself a movie.
What’s even more annoying is that the film almost didn’t happen entirely. Filming
actually started way back in 2009, but got shelved after MGM ran into financial difficulties. Though apparently the directors ignored this sign from the gods that maybe this film was a bad idea, and so now the provisional release date is November 2012.
Even actors like Hemsworth, Hutcherson and Watchmen‘s Jeffrey Dean Morgan can’t save this film. It’s just another in a long series of feature-length, explosion-filled propaganda films that are designed to show audiences how awesome American really is.