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Red Dawn

3.4 out of 5 stars 3,193 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In Red Dawn, a city in Washington state awakens to the surreal sight of foreign paratroopers dropping from the sky - shockingly, the U.S. has been invaded and their hometown is the initial target. Quickly and without warning, the citizens find themselves prisoners and their town under enemy occupation. Determined to fight back, a group of young patriots seek refuge in the surrounding woods, training and reorganizing themselves into a guerilla group of fighters. Taking inspiration from their high school mascot, they call themselves the Wolverines, banding together to protect one another, liberate their town from its captors, and take back their freedom.


Those parachutes floating quietly down over the skies of Spokane are disconcerting, to say the least. For good reason: that's the advance force of the invading North Korean military, who have nothing less than the occupation of the U.S. of A. in mind. That's right, the North Koreans; because the Soviet fighters of the 1984 version of Red Dawn have gone the way of the Cold War, this 2012 remake looks to Kim Jong-un's isolated regime as the 21st-century Commie menace. As before, it's up to a group of local teens--you know, the Wolverines--to lead the resistance; Chris Hemsworth and Josh Peck step into the roles played by Patrick Swayze and C. Thomas Howell in the original. All of which could still have some jingoistic survivalist appeal, if only the remake weren't executed so ham-handedly. The action might be lively, but the dialogue scenes are staged as though nobody in the movie had ever spoken before. Each character has a single note, and the actors--including Adrianne Palicki, Josh Hutcherson, and Tom and Nicole's kid Connor Cruise--tend to play the intensity card. If the David vs. Goliath fantasy still works, great; otherwise, stick with the '84 version, which at least had director John Milius's craftsmanship on display, however absurd the story might have been. (Footnote to film history: this version of Red Dawn was shot with the Chinese identified as the invaders, then altered in postproduction to shift to North Koreans. Fear of losing the Chinese market proved a greater argument than plausibility, if plausibility comes into play in these circumstances.) --Robert Horton

Product Details

  • Actors: Chris Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: March 5, 2013
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,193 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,915 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"Dude, we're living Call of Duty. And it sucks."

So says a character in Red Dawn 2012, succinctly summing up the movie. This film purports to be a remake of John Milius's 1984 cult classic about a group of American teens who band together to fight back against communist invaders but don't be fooled. In reality Dawn 2012 is a poor man's version of the Red Dawn inspired missions from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (where the Russians invade America).

Dawn 2012, like too many blockbusters, feels like a movie assembled by a committee to say nothing and offend no-one, to be as safe and commercial as possible. I am glad to say that in this case second guessing the lowest common denominator didn't pay-off and that Dawn 2012 flopped at the box office. The original Red Dawn isn't a perfect movie - the script is a bit disjointed and the acting could be better - but at least it has convictions. At least it takes some risks. At least it has a director who is passionate about the material (which he also co-wrote). And it shows in every scene of the film.

The original Red Dawn is a celebration of rugged individualism and ordinary people rising to the occasion; the remake, not so much. In Dawn 1984 the heroes are average kids. But in the remake the kids are led by a marine. In the original the characters live off the land as best they can. In the remake the group are never far from occupied civilisation and steal food from a miraculously open Subway. In the original as the war wears on the characters get dirty and get tougher. In the remake everyone always looks perfectly made up and no-one ever has to make any truly difficult decisions. The original is pretty damn cheesy and unrealistic in places, often endearingly so, but it's just as often shocking and provocative.
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This movie is one in a long line of remakes intent on giving an "updated" version of a better quality original. Hollywood specializes now in creating the least offensive, and/or controversial product possible, and it usually has all the passion of a car commercial.
My reasons for giving the movie a "1 star" rating?
1. The original was made at a time when real tension existed between the U.S. and Russia. That anxiety over armed conflict between the two is minimal at this point, and not on the radar screens of the vast majority of Americans. Basically, it's not timely.
2. Aspects of the original are changed for no apparent reason, other than to make the film possibly less offensive to some groups. Example? In the first film, most of the invaders were Cuban. North Koreans are not likely to feel incensed at the release of this turd though, owing to the fact that it will never air in their country, except in the context of torture possibly. Also, you can't help noticing the "wolverteens" were "diversified" to make it more "modern".
3. As is common now, the cast is made up of skinny jean wearing hipsters, that look like they have spent considerable time in the hair and makeup department minutes before filming. What little dirt you see on them, looks applied. If you want realism, wouldn't it make sense for the characters to look a little more ragged?
4. The characters are incredibly generic, and the acting is flat.
5. The action was cartoonish. Surprisingly, in real life, people can't outrun explosions or bullets. I think they used some old "roadrunner" episodes as a technical reference.
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Well I just got back from the Midnight movie of this film which is a remake of the 1984 original movie, Red Dawn, which had an all star cast consisting of; Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen, Jennifer Grey, Ben Johnson, Harry Dean Stanton, Ron O'Neal, and Powers Boothe. The setting for the 1984 film was a small town in Colorado when suddenly during a normal fall school day, Soviet, Nicaraguan, and Cuban troops parachute out of the sky and begin landing on the football field and throughout the small Colorado town. A few of the teenagers led by Patrick Swayze's character Jed, flee into the mountains and left to fend for themselves while the remaining towns people that were captured are forced to live at the whim of the invading forces. After a few short weeks of living in the mountains the teens are forced to make a decision on whether or not to fight or submit to the rule of the occupying forces. They decide and begin to wage their own guerrilla warfare against the invading Soviet troops.

Now I went into this movie being a very big fan of the original and had just recently re-watched it again, for perhaps the 30th or 40th time, in anticipation of this remake. So I would have to advise you, as you are reading this review, that perhaps I am a bit jaded and prone to favoring the original version of this film. Now having said that, I did like this film and I feel that it does the original version some justice, although this film just didn't seem to have the heart that the original film had.
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