I never saw the original Red Dawn, so if you want some comparison study, please to be going elsewhere.
Red Dawn starts with news footage, people talking about political stuff, war type stuff, North Korea type stuff. And I was thinking "This may not be the movie for me." Then it cuts from news footage to teenagers playing football and I thought "And I'm done." If there's one thing I hate more than politics, it's teenagers and football. (That's two things.)
Okay, so the Douchebag brothers, Thor and Really Really Ugly (like, proof we evolved from cavemen; Michael Phelps and this guy are the missing link) are hanging out at a bar after the football game when all the power goes out and I have to fight every one of my natural instincts to keep from screaming "Oh no! Commies!" in a crowded theater.
The next morning, the commies invade Spokane and the Douchebag brothers drive through a bunch of backyards in a failed attempt to rescue Really Really Ugly's girlfriend, Equally Ugly. Then their dad tells them to "go to the cabin" and I think "All right!" because in the past, all the movies I've seen that feature Chris Hemsworth in a cabin turn out amazing.
Turns out, Red Dawn is the opposite of The Cabin In The Woods.
(Also, I find it interesting that I don't really like Chris Hemsworth (I don't necessarily dislike him; I just don't like him) and yet have seen every movie he's been in this year. Admittedly, I wasn't planning to see Red Dawn, it was just the only option tonight, timingwise.)
Anyway, the Douchebags and their friends Hunger Game and First Token Black Guy head out to the cabin, followed by Untrustworthy Guy, Vaguely Ethnic Chick and Vaguely Ethnic Chick's Brother Who I Don't Think Has A Single Audible Line In The Whole Movie.
So Mister Douchebag (I feel bad calling the dad that because he's probably the most likeable character in the movie, but I decided his sons's last name is Douchbag so their dad must be Mister Douchebag) gets killed in the head by the Lead Korean and the Douchebag brothers and all their friends (including Second Token Black Guy and Butterface, who turn up at some point) decide to lead the revolution, calling themselves Wolverines because that's their high school mascot and they have no imaginations.
From that point on, Red Dawn goes in a pattern: action sequence (guns and explodiness!), sappy scene (serious faces and "emotional" speeches). At one point Really Really Ugly rescues Equally Ugly from a bus of prisoners, which is great for them, but really douchey in a "good luck everybody else" way. That bus was full of people and he didn't even hand off the keys to one of the other prisoners before ditching them with his hideous girlfriend.
I will say, though, that the one thing in the movie I thought was really effective was the giant sign in the internment camp that Equally Ugly had to be rescued from. It said "You deserve to be here." Wow. That's fucking harsh. Good job.
The sappy sequences were just ridiculous if for no other reason than they give the audience no fucking reason to really care about these people and their "emotional" speeches. There's no real character development, I don't really relate or sympathize with their situation. Those scenes are just there because the screenwriter thought they were required. "Oh, now it's time to move the story along," or "now it's time to make the audience feel something." Except the movie has no real story and I feel absolutely nothing for any of these people.
At least the explosions were cool. And the movie was nice enough to only kill off characters who they didn't bother to give names.
Also, I have a really hard time believing that a douchey high school football player in 2012 would be a Dinosaur Jr fan. Sorry, costume department.
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BIG, BIG SPOILER! STOP READING RIGHT NOW IF YOU CARE ABOUT SPOILERS!
At least, they didn't kill off anybody with a name until almost the end.
What is it about Chris Hemsworth dying abrupt deaths that makes me laugh so much? His death in Cabin In The Woods makes me bust up every time and when he gets suddenly, warninglessly shot in the head in Red Dawn I had to bite my hand to keep from laughing ridiculously loudly in the theater. (Most of the audience seemed to actually be enjoying the movie and I didn't want to ruin it for them if they actually thought that part was sad.)
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