I’m generally opposed to remaking classic 1980’s films. They just never quite manage to live up to the original no matter how hard they try.
The latest to hit theaters and now DVD Blu-Ray is Red Dawn starring Thor himself Chris Hemsworth and Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson.
Jed Eckert is a marine home from active duty, he’s estranged from his family and especially his little brother Matt (Josh Peck). After a high school football game where Matt is less than spectacular it seems like the small town is closing in on him. Jed and Matt wake up the next morning to a full scale invasion by North Korea.
Jed and Matt manage to escape the invasion and with a group of kids from Matt’s school end up in the woods at the brother’s second home. It’s there that they decide to fight back against the invasion that is happening all over the country.
Forming a group known as the Wolverines they do guerrilla warfare and help resume Matt’s girlfriend, Toni. These instances spread across the nation eventually giving people hope.
Plagued by the recent MGM bankruptcy issues Red Dawn has had a rocky road to finally see the light of day. In the original edit it was China who invaded and not North Korea. They changed the nationality in post production. It’s really unfortunate then that not many people have had the chance to see the film.
Comparing it to the original isn’t fair because they are similar but different films. This version directed by Dan Bradley who was the stunt director on the last two Bourne films, revs up the action even though the heroes happen to be lacking their high school diplomas.
As Jed, Chris Hemsworth brings his alpha male machismo to the forefront to good effect. He plays a marine very well and you can see shades of the God of Thunder coming out. Josh Peck doesn’t fare nearly as well but he gives it his all. And with the exception of one over the top but needed brotherly bonding scene both come off pretty well.
Josh Hutcherson wouldn’t have rated a mention in his supporting role were it not for his upped status in the Hunger Games series. He was fine in Red Dawn but you don’t really see what all the fuss over Petta Mellark is.
All in all, I had a really good time with this version of Red Dawn. It’s a fun popcorn flick that’s worth a second life on DVD. I would suggest picking up a copy and checking it out. It deserves better than a quick scuttle in and out of theaters.
The special features are few and far between and it would have been great to have had a glimpse of the struggles Red Dawn faced in seeing the light of day.
Red Dawn is out now on DVD and blu-ray!
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