Tuesday, November 20, 2012

North Korea is Evil

Red Dawn       Final Cut Score: 82%


I'll give you a moment to plant your tush in a seat. If you're behind the wheel, pull over and put it in "P". All set? Are you sure? Triple sure? Final chance...

Red Dawn doesn't suck.

Yes, I know this sounds preposterous. I know this sounds inconceivable. I might as well have told you Pluto is no longer a planet, but it's true. The been-sitting-on-a-shelf-since-2010 remake of one of the '80s most ridiculous revered films is shockingly tolerable and surprisingly entertaining.

Swapping Soviets for Chinese North Koreans, Red Dawn follows the same parachuting-invasion of America plotline, the puffy-faced Chris Hemsworth subbing for Patrick Swayze. Surrounded by a capable enough supporting cast, including Peeta himself, Josh Hutcherson and the big screen debut of Tom Cruise's kid Connor, this is kids versus Communists and the guys with tanks and RPGs don't have a prayer, not against the self-proclaimed "Wolverines" and their run and shoot - and run - offense.

The dialogue doesn't evoke thoughts of Chaucer but what'd you expect? This is the Norse god of thunder, Thor, leading the charge. And can he ever topple evil regimes; not with brute force, but rather guerrilla warfare and home court advantage – no one knows Spokane, Washington like these rebellious youths.

Red Dawn is undoubtedly outlandish (what country would actually want ownership of Spokane for God's sake?) but stunt coordinator-turned-director Dan Bradley delivers the eye candy with explosions in spades to keep you largely tuned in for the 93-minute runtime.

Score a minor victory for unbelievability.