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DVD/Blu-ray review: FTN reviews Red Dawn (2012)

July 13th, 2013 by Marc Comments

Red Dawn (15)
Directed by: Dan Bradley
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson
Running time: 93mins

A group of teenagers look to save their town from an invasion of North Korean soldiers.

A remake of the 1984 movie starring Patrick Swayze, Red Dawn 2012 this time replaces Russia for theNorth Korea as the villains of the piece as a small American town – and presumably the rest of the country – is invaded out of the blue by soldiers with parachutes. Yes, really.

Starring Chris Hemsworth as Jed Eckert and a load of other kids who we’ve seen in other movies including the girl who was a pretender in the second Transfomers movie, Red Dawn isn’t as awful as you’ve heard. It’s just so… dull and by the numbers and boring and dull and boring. And dull.

It takes place over an undisclosed period of time and sees Hemsworth’s soldier on leave put together a rag-tag bunch of kids who become the resistance against the evil North Koreans. Who seem to have no personality, reason for invasion or motivation other than shout, shoot innocent people and look off into the distance, hinting that somewhere in this movie is a noble drive, inspiring this invasion, but damned if we, the watcher, need to know it.

After a few deaths that seem to inspire the kids to become the A-Team take place, the movie kicks in properly and the kids go through a rigorous training montage before emerging like Arnie’s team from Predator.

Then they attack the Koreans, salvage some food, gather another couple of kids for the cause (the adults are all incompetent cowards in the US, apparently), see a couple of their team killed – suffer the loss of their unnamed friends and become inspired to fight harder. They then continue to repeat this for the next hour until an unsatisfactory end is reached… real wash and repeat film-making.

You see, this really is popcorn film-making. If we didn’t know who Helmsworth was and that kid out of the Hunger Games – Josh Hutcherson – we wouldn’t even remember them. The real shame is that director Bradley seems to think it was so much more important than this, going for scenes that try to resonate and have impact: SEE kids betray their friends! WATCH in horror as family members are killed! SHOCK as someone you thought was the key to the movie dies! But none of it resonates and even less stays with you after it’s over.

Overall, it’s a movie to watch on TV some evening if there’s nothing else on, but it’s difficult to recommend it… oh and Mr Helmsworth, no matter what the workout routine for the Avengers movies is, I would advise you to stick with it, sir.

2 out of 5 Nerds


Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….