Red Dawn | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Red Dawn

In this not-very-good remake of the Cold War "classic," America is taken hostage by North Koreans


If you wake up in the wee hours panicked that North Korea might invade America and put all our high school cheerleaders into re-training camps made from shipping containers, Red Dawn will confirm your very worst fears. Similarly, if you're fretting that Hollywood is so bereft of ideas that it has turned, in desperation, to recycling its own very worst films (sort of like a zombie eating another zombie), Dan Bradley's remake of the 1984 action pulper (then featuring invading Soviets) is Exhibit A. From its opening scene — a jumbled pastiche of news footage jiggered to establish some fearsome new geopolitical freak-outs — to its abrupt we-just-ran-out-of-film conclusion, this is a turkey that should have never made it to the table.

But it did, so let's carve it open. After Spokane, Wash., is locked down by North Koreans, a half-dozen high schoolers, led by a Marine (Thor's Chris Hemsworth) conveniently home on leave, hole up in the nearby woods and form a ... well, a terrorist group. Inexplicably able to move freely to and from the town, the kids steal weapons and Subway sandwiches, and execute a series of assassinations, bombings and assorted Call of Duty bad-assery. (They go by the dumb name of their school mascot, Wolverines, taking an extra risk when spray-painting this super-long name on walls.) If you don't know how this all plays out, well, you've never seen Red Dawn v. 1.0, or any other film in which red-blooded Americans in Dodge trucks confront some godless enemy. Wolverines, people, Wolverines!

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