Combustible Celluloid
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With: Chris Hemsworth, Adrianne Palicki, Josh Hutcherson, Josh Peck, Isabel Lucas, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Connor Cruise, Edwin Hodge, Alyssa Diaz, Brett Cullen, Michael Beach, Will Yun Lee, Matt Gerald, Kenneth Choi, Ron Yuan
Written by: Carl Ellsworth, Jeremy Passmore, based on a screenplay by John Milius, Kevin Reynolds
Directed by: Dan Bradley
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense war violence and action, and for language
Running Time: 114
Date: 26/09/2012

Red Dawn (2012)

1 Star (out of 4)

Terror Error

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Released smack in the middle of the Reagan years and marketed to teens, John Milius' Red Dawn (1984) was a grand-slam, a right-wing fantasy about invading Russians that celebrated the use of heavy artillery by ordinary American citizens. It didn't even matter how implausible/stupid it all was.

Today it looks like a pinnacle of daring compared to the comatose new remake. This time it's the North Koreans parachuting into a small Pacific Northwest town (really Michigan), where Iraq war vet Jed Eckert (Chris Hemsworth), his cocky little brother Matt (an alternately smirking, slack-jawed Josh Peck), and various misfits, nerds, and hot girls, fight back.

Dan Bradley -- a stuntman making his directorial debut -- is clearly zoned out here, employing twitchy, trashy shaky-cam for all action sequences. Any possible pride in craftsmanship has been all but abandoned. If the North Koreans invaded and saw this movie, they'd probably just turn back.
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