A city in Washington state awakens to the surreal sight of foreign paratroopers dropping from the sky - shockingly, the U.S. has been invaded and their hometown is the initial target. Quickly and without warning, the citizens find themselves prisoners and their town under enemy occupation. Determined to fight back, a group of young patriots seek refuge in the surrounding woods, training and reorganizing themselves into a guerrilla group of fighters. Taking inspiration from their high school mascot, they call themselves the Wolverines, banding together to protect one another, liberate their town from its captors, and take back their freedom.
Directed by: Dan Bradley
. Starring: Chris Hemsworth
, Josh Peck
, Josh Hutcherson
, Adrianne Palicki
, Isabel Lucas
, Connor Cruise
, Edwin Hodge
, Brett Cullen
, Alyssa Diaz
, Julian Alcaraz
, Will Yun Lee
, Jeffrey Dean Morgan
, Fernando Chien
. Music by: Ramin Djawadi
One of the basic tenets of the chaos theory is that events are deterministic, suggesting that, given initial conditions, events are not susceptible to randomness. However, it is this precise determinism that, paradoxically, does NOT make them predictable at all, but vulnerable to
chaos. This is the key premise to director Dan Bradley's "Red Dawn."
Chris Hemsworth, (Jed Eckert) a US Marine, has recently returned to his native Spokane, after a six year tour of duty in Iraq. His father, Tom Eckert (Brett Cullen) is the city's chief of police. Chris's younger brother, Matt, (Josh Peck) looks up to his older brother, whom he thinks heroic. The brothers, along with Danny (Edwin Hodge), Matt's best friend, Robert (Josh Hutcherson), tech guru extraordinaries and Daryl (Connor Cruise) Robert's best friend and the mayor's son, are a close cadre and live and enjoy a relatively typical and happy existence in their small corner of the city. Matt has a girlfriend, Erica (Isabel Lucas) and then there's the 'no nonsense' Toni (Adrianne Palicki) who has eyes for Chris.
One quiet morning, the city is besieged by air and on land, by a group of North Korean militia and Chris and company finds themselves prisoners under enemy occupation. Chris determined to fight back at all costs, because as he says, the fight is on their home turf and, "When you're fighting for your family, it all hurts a little less and makes a little more sense" takes full command. The group galvanizes and the games begin.
"Red Dawn" is an updated version of 1984 cult classic, which several teen icons of the 1980s. Of course, these were the waning days of Soviet Russia, but what with President Ronald Reagan calling the Soviet Union, an "evil empire," the plot, in its day had great resonance. Dan Bradley, making his directorial debut, has selected material that suits him. His years of experience as stunt coordinator, serve him very well. As action films go, this is a perfectly adequate film, with impressive special effects, and all of the attendant trappings of the genre tanks, AKA 47's and all manner of weapons, but for the faint of heart, take note. The film contains several protracted scenes that are very violent, some a bit gratuitous and ear plugs might come in handy, as well. The film, in Dolby 88, may have some scurrying for aspirin - the action scenes are exceedingly loud. However, the cast deliver uniformly good performances, and, as is so often the case, there are the usual twists and turns and a few surprises.
The film's fundamental concept would have made for an excellent political thriller. However, Bradley says that, in comparison to its 1984 counterpart, the 2012 version of "Red Dawn," the invasion seemed "an apt metaphor" for the unease Americans feel about the world today and opines that, "Americans just don't feel as secure as they once were." Perhaps, without having heard of it, Americans are, increasingly, subscribing to the afore-mentioned chaos theory.
Review by gaelicguy from the Internet Movie Database.