Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Red Dawn (2012) Review by Shivom Oza – Low-On-Intellect, Bereft Of Action

2/5 Stars

Spokane, Washington, wakes up to the horrific sight of North Korean paratroopers dropping from the sky, with the citizens finding themselves prisoners and their town under enemy occupation. The Eckhert family finds themselves in the middle of this chaos. The story is about how the two brothers, Jed and Matt, along with their team, fight for what belongs to them.

The film neither caters to the politics aficionados nor does it have enough ammunition to impress the action-film fans. It fails to throw light upon any major political issue that might have led to this sudden invasion. The out-of-place comic reliefs and the poor acting don’t serve the cause either. ‘Red Dawn’ just doesn’t make the cut.

U.S. Marine Jed Eckhert (Chris Hemsworth) returns on leave to his hometown where he reunites with his father, Sergeant Tom Eckhert (Brett Cullen), and his brother, football player Matt Eckhert (Josh Peck). Matt resents Jed for having left on duty after their mother died and staying abroad for six years. So the two brothers don’t really get along!

The morning after their reunion witnesses the surreal sight of their town being invaded by North Korean paratroopers. Soon, the armed troopers take charge of the entire city. Determined to fight back, Jed trains a group of young patriots, who have taken refuge in the surrounding woods, to make them guerrilla fighters. They call themselves the ‘Wolverines’, and while protecting each other, fight against the invaders to liberate their town.

In the middle of it, you have an on-going love story between Matt and Erica (Isabel Lucas), an almost-blossoming-love-story between Jed and Adrianne (Toni Walsh), and recurrent ego-clashes between Jed and Matt. There are a few comical scenes thrown in as well but they’re marred by the terrible acting (courtesy Hemsworth and Peck).

The story, in itself, fails to impress. Even for an action film, ‘Red Dawn’ is quite a nonsensical affair. With no back story or information whatsoever about the North Korean invasion, it is quite bizarre to buy into the basic premise of the film. The only ‘political’ angle in the film is shown through poorly cut news bulletins and speeches by politicians during the opening credits, which fails to give any idea about the situation. The film is a re-boot of the 1984 hit, starring Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen. This concept doesn’t work anymore especially with such badly shot action scenes and such weak dialogues and characters! The direction (Dan Bradley) leaves a lot to be desired. The only positive aspect about the film would have to be its length (little over 90 minutes). Otherwise, even the supposedly BIG twist in the end will fail to engage the viewer.

The film just doesn’t make the cut. If at all, wait for the television premiere. Not worth the ticket price, surely!

Shivom Oza

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