Randy's Review: 'Red Dawn'

Friday, December 7, 2012

Wolverines fight back

Marine Jed Eckert (Chris Hemsworth) returns home just in time to watch his young brother, hot-shot quarterback Matt (Josh Peck), cost the Wolverines a game in the closing moments.

The next morning, the two brothers are woken with ground-shaking booms and the sounds of air squadrons overhead. The invasion is on and the two Eckerts grab a crew of friends and head to the family cabin in the woods at the command of their father, a police sergeant (Brett Cullen).

And it's game on.

The remake of 1984s "Red Dawn," starring Patrick Swayze, has essentially the same formula. Rather than Russians this time around -- although we find out they too are involved -- the invasion is conducted by the North Koreans.

While we're led to believe these community takeovers are taking place at various locations around the country, the particular occupation Red Dawn centers around occurs in Spokane, Wash.

Apparently the Pacific Northwest is now ground zero for both vampire and foreign hostile invasions.

The young men, including Connor Cruise -- the child of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman -- join forces with some stranger and decide to fight for their freedom and the freedom of those they loved trapped in prison camps and occupied in North Korean controlled Spokane.

Along the way, the "Wolverines" as they call themselves, begin creating chaos for invading forces and provide glimmers of hope for those being held captive.

Captain Cho (Will Yun Lee) will stop at nothing to end the reign of the Wolverines, and although they lose some members along the way, the rag-tag warriors remain a step ahead of their pursuers. The group joins forces with a trio of retired Marines and form an alliance in an effort to turn the tide of the invasion on Spokane.

While a bit unlikely, the courage demonstrated by the Wolverines under Jed and Matt's leadership is admirable and makes for an enjoyable film for the target audience. It's predictable and the end was a bit too much for me, but overall the story and action will please young audiences and fans of the original.

Made me want to run out and arm my kids just in case.

Randy's Rating

On a scale of 5 buckets, "Red Dawn" fills 2 1/2, so ration your supplies. A bit surprised by the low box office, so buy a bigger drink to aid your theater's bottom line. MPAA rating: PG-13. Running time: 93 minutes. This film was reviewed at Southpark 7 in Spencer.

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