Ric’s Netflix Picks: “Red Dawn” (2012)

Red dawn boys

What’s the price of freedom?

Well, it isn’t cheap.

U.S. Marine Jed Eckert (Chris Hemsworth) returns to his hometown of Spokane, Washington to see his brother, Matt (Josh Peck), and their father. When the town’s power goes out, the two brothers step outside to investigate. They are surprised to see paratroopers descending to the streets. The paratroopers reveal themselves to be North Korean and begin shooting at the townsfolk. In a panic, Jed and Matt manage to escape to the woods along with some of Matt’s friends. Branding themselves the Wolverines, they launch guerrilla attacks against the occupiers. Striking back, the Wolverines seek to regain their homeland and drive the North Koreans out of Washington.

This remake of the 1984 original, Red Dawn (2012) is essentially what I expected it to be. It follows a very similar story line as the original, but is updated to feature a more appropriate antagonist. Hemsworth shows that he has the potential to be a rugged action star, but I only see Thor when I look at him. This is less of a criticism of his performance and more of a consequence of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its pervasiveness. I initially had the same concern with Peck, who grew up as a Nickelodeon kid, but he won me over by the film’s end. In fact, this issue is really only distracting when it comes to John Hutcherson. In one of the most glaring issues of the film, he is too recognizable for a particular role. Hutcherson, playing the biggest supporting role, is still just Peeta from the Hunger Games and Catching Fire. Look for Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen) and guest star extraordinaire Brett Cullen.

Red Dawn (2012) is good rainy day film. It won’t make you think too deeply but it does not attempt to. It is exactly what it aims to be, a contemporary cash-grab capitalization of a crowd-pleaser.


3.4 out of 5.0


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