“Red Dawn” fails to impress with poor acting, confusing plot


Jason Kang, Staff Writer

Directed by Dan Bradley, who also worked with films such as “The Bourne Ultimatum,” “Spider-Man 3,” and “Quantum of Solace,” the latest “Red Dawn” lacks connections with today’s reality and fails to improve from the original version, released in 1984. Even with the experience of major productions, Bradley does not carry out the essential components of a great action movie and limits the capabilities of star actors and actresses with an excessive amount of action.

Compared to the previous version, the 2012 replica presents an identical situation with many significant changes. In the 1984 “Red Dawn,” the Soviet Union, along with Nicaraguan and Cuban forces, attacks a small town in Calumet, Colorado, beginning World War III. Unlike the older film, the 2012 “Red Dawn” displays the North Korean army occupying the town of Spokane in Washington.

In this movie, Jed Eckhert (Chris Hemsworth), a marine stationed in Iraq, visits his hometown in Spokane, Washington to see his brother, Matt (Josh Peck), and his dad. The day after Matt’s big football game, the North Korean soldiers seize houses and residents. Seeing his dad killed by a North Korean official, Cho (Will Yun Lee), Jed decides to form a resistance called “The Wolverines.” By harassing the foreign invaders and taking away their weapons and supplies, the Wolverines try to reclaim their town and send a message to the rest of townspeople. The guerilla warfare motivates the American people across the nation to battle the North Korean armies to earn their liberty.

Originally scheduled for release in 2010, the film was delayed due to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Film’s financial struggles but now attracted thousands of viewers with its general scenario, frequent action, and bits of humor––yet it fails to elaborate and transform global issues into a fictional movie. The accounts of North Koreans colonizing major American cities seem flawed and unclear with limited knowledge of how an incapacitated North Korea would be able to suppress the United States military.

In addition to its unpolished storyline, “Red Dawn” demonstrates incompetent and limited performances from star actors and actresses. Chris Hemsworth, starring as Jed Eckhert, does not fulfill his key role as the head of the resistance and fails to show leadership in front of Josh Peck and Josh Hutcherson who act as young high school students. Compared to other motivating speeches, Jed’s attempt to convince his brother and the rest of high school kids to fight back seems rather unconvincing and clichéd. At the same time, he does not prove himself as a role model in front of fellow freedom fighters. Distracted by ongoing action, Peck barely shows emotion in response to his brother’s death compared to the reaction of Adrianne Palicki.

The latest “Red Dawn” possesses everything that a typical, substandard action film would have: a rather confusing and contradictory plot with a lot of fighting and a happy ending. It reflects absolutely nothing from current world-wide issues and focuses principally on entertaining the audience with pointless combat scenes and explosions. With inaccurate background and unproductive acting, the film can only be described as senseless and misleading.