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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Trailer Breakdown: RED DAWN

One of the latest trailers to hit the Internet is the first for the upcoming remake, Red Dawn, which is directed by Dan Bradley and stars Chris Hemsworth. As I usually do with these trailer breakdowns, I'll be bringing up some questions concerning the film just after the trailer. To start, take a glance at this first look of the new film:

And now, for a few questions that came to mind while watching the trailer:

1. To start, what is Red Dawn?
As I previously stated, Red Dawn is an upcoming action flick that serves as a remake of the 1984 film of the same name. This film will center on an apparent invasion from the North Korean army that lands in a small, nondescript American town. An on-leave Marine (Hemsworth) visiting home gets caught in the middle of the attack, and he leads a rag-tag group of survivors in a strike against the enemy. This follows the basic plot and concept of the original film, with the key difference being that the foe in the 1984 venture was the Soviet Union, not the North Koreans. 

2. How will this film hold up against the original film?
The original Red Dawn film holds the illustrious status of being the first film released in the United States to achieve the newly-created PG-13 rating. It earned this rating after being considered, at the time, to be the most violent film ever made according to the Guinness Book of World Records, which states it holds a rate of 2.23 violent acts per minute. Made on a very modest budget of $4.2 million, the film managed to return nearly $40 million at the box office, making it a financial, if not critical, success. Considering the nature of the storyline, critics were divided on the film, which currently holds a fifty-three percent approval rating on Still, there are some pretty lofty goals in there for this new Red Dawn to achieve, but will it be able to stand up next to its predecessor?

3. Considering the state of today's political society, how will this film be met by critics and audiences?
In recent years, the threat of a North Korean attack on the United States has always been on the back-burner with the news, and in light of the North Korean's recent misfire with their missile testing, I wonder whether this film's release is timely or not. In a way, the film is taking the idea of a possible attack and bringing it to life, following it through by showing that a small group of young Americans can take down an entire section of enemy army. I have a feeling that the film will be met by heavy resistance from the critical community, but there should be factions of audiences that will probably fall in love with the concept.

4. Plot Issue: This trailer makes it seem as though the North Korean army has a personal vendetta against the main family. Why would they?
The trailer clearly shows Hemsworth's character's father (seemingly) being murdered by a Korean military leader in execution style. The scene then jumps immediately to Hemsworth uttering, "They messed with the wrong family." I have a bit of an issue with this: Why would an army bent on taking over an entire country waste their time with one individual family? I'm sure the film will concoct some way to make it all make sense, but based off the trailer, it already seems a little bit silly. Still, it could easily make for a more emotional piece, but I can't see any way that this subplot won't be a cheap attempt at drawing that emotion from the viewer. 

5. Where does this film place Chris Hemsworth on the Hollywood scene? 
To answer this question, I'd like to take a look at Hemsworth's brief filmography. He made a memorable appearance in 2009's Star Trek, but it wasn't until his starring role in 2011's Thor that he became a household name. That name only grew with the release of The Avengers and Snow White and the Huntsman, both action films that showcased his ability to be an action star. If Red Dawn manages to be a success, it should solidify Hemsworth's status as the next big thing in action, and with sequels to Thor and Snow White and the Huntsman already in the works, he shouldn't have a problem continuing that particular vein of success.

6. How will the rest of the cast play out?
We're actually getting some relatively big names in this particular venture, and it should be a cast that performs well. Most prominent are the inclusions of Josh Hutcherson - fresh of the success of The Hunger Games - and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, but we're also going to see the likes of Josh Peck and Adrianne Palicki. In an action movie, acting sometimes gets shoved off to the wayside, but here's to hoping that this cast can bring something of value to the screen.

7. How will first-time director Dan Bradley handle the film?
After making a bit of a name for himself as a stunt coordinator, Bradley had the opportunity to go behind the camera with Red Dawn, making this his first directorial effort. I've seen many a first-time director make a quality film, but there's plenty more who have failed miserably. Given the type of film, I'd be a little worried that this first venture might be a bit underwhelming, but with his background in stunts, I'd say that the visual effects and stunt work should be top-notch.

8. At the end of the day, will Red Dawn just be another dumb, big-budget action remake?
This is always going to be the biggest question for a film like this. Remakes are always going to be taken with a grain of salt, and while it can be done, it's tough to make a quality remake. People are going to remember the source material in a nostalgic way, so to top an original film, a remake has to be something truly spectacular. Will Red Dawn be able to do just that? My money's on no, but I've been wrong before. 

Red Dawn will hit theaters in the United States on November 21, 2012.


  1. :) just read some of you posts you have a pretty interesting blog here .....
    Regarding this movie I must confess I won't go to see it...personally I find the story too far fetched and quite absurd if you ask me (BTW you should see Iron Sky for absurd invasions over the US- it's allot more entertaining). The only reason I would see this would be if the bad guys would win in the end which won't happen of course since a bunch of people would heroically stop a whole army of foreign invaders- why didn't they made it about a Chinese invasion...oh forgot that already happened :p

  2. oh....I just found out why Koreans ...because the movie it's based on a video game...dooohhh....I should have known